Donald Trump
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
Russian President Vladimir Putin with US President Donald Trump in Osaka in 2019. Photo: dpa

Trump asked if Finland is part of Russia. Here’s a list of countries and revelations in Bolton’s new book

  • Former national security adviser John Bolton also wrote that Trump was eager to send Kim Jong-un a copy of Elton John’s song Rocket Man
  • Trump’s defence of Saudi Arabia over killing of Jamal Khashoggi was to distract from Ivanka Trump’s use of personal email for government business, book claims
Donald Trump
China was not the only country mentioned in a litany of allegations that former national security adviser John Bolton makes about US President Donald Trump in excerpts published of his book The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir .

Here is a list countries that feature in reports about Bolton’s book about his 17 months in Trump’s administration:


Trump confused the current and former presidents of Afghanistan multiple times, The Washington Post reported. The United States has been at war in Afghanistan for 18 years.

Trump ‘pleaded’ with China’s Xi Jinping to help him win 2020 election, Bolton writes


Trump reversed penalties on Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE and, the following year, offered to reverse criminal prosecution against Huawei, seeing disputes involving the two firms not as policy issues but “an opportunity to make personal gestures to Xi,” one excerpt said, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The US president also played down the significance of Taiwan and developments involving Hong Kong and China’s treatment of Uygur citizens, telling Xi at a June 2019 meeting that Xi should go ahead with building concentration camps in Xinjiang, according to the excerpt.

Trump also told Xi that Americans wanted the two-term constitutional limit on presidents to be repealed for him, the excerpt said.


Trump asked his former chief of staff John Kelly if Finland was part of Russia, according to the Post.


When advisers discussed the US alliance with Japan, Trump became irate and railed about Pearl Harbour. He also asked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to help him strike a deal with Iran, the Post reported.


Trump was determined to befriend North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, deciding to give him some gifts, which violated US sanctions and for which those sanctions eventually needed to be waived, the Post reported.

Bolton said Trump cared little about denuclearisation efforts and only saw it as “an exercise in publicity”, according to the Post.

After the first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018, Trump repeatedly asked about Kim’s receipt of an autographed copy of Elton John’s Rocket Man on CD during Pompeo’s visit afterward to North Korea, the Post said.

Trump had insulted Kim by calling him “Little Rocket Man” but had since sought to convince Kim it was an affectionate term.

But Pompeo had not seen Kim in North Korea. Getting the CD to Kim remained a priority for several months, the Post reported. It was not immediately clear if Kim received the recording.


Trump told Defence Secretary James Mattis that Russia should take care of the Islamic State militant group, according to the Post.


In 2018, Trump wrote a defence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman amid outcry over the killing of journalist and prominent royal critic, Jamal Khashoggi.

The main goal of the defence was to distract from news coverage of Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, using her personal email for government business, the Post reported Bolton saying – something Trump had repeatedly lambasted his opponent, Hillary Clinton, for doing during the 2016 election.

Five sentenced to death in Saudi over journalist Khashoggi murder


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan gave Trump a memo saying a Turkish firm under investigation by the US lawyer for the Southern District of New York for violating Iranian sanctions was innocent.

“Trump then told Erdogan he would take care of things, explaining that the Southern District prosecutors were not his people, but were Obama people, a problem that would be fixed when they were replaced by his people,” Bolton wrote, according to the Post.

At one point, Bolton learned a top Trump adviser, Jared Kushner, would be calling Turkey’s finance minister because he was Erdogan’s son-in-law, referring to it as “this new ‘son-in-law channel’.”

When Bolton informed UN Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of the call, Pompeo was furious “because this was one more example of Kushner’s doing international negotiations he shouldn’t have been doing (along with the never quite ready Middle East peace plan),” according to the Post.

Donald Trump surrounded by other world leaders during the G7 summit. Photo: dpa


Bolton broadly confirmed allegations that Trump pressed Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political rival, former US vice-president Joe Biden, in a bid to help Trump win his November re-election bid, according to US media reports.
Trump became the third US president to face impeachment, but he remained in office after a Senate vote that largely fell along partisan lines.


In a meeting with Theresa May, who was Britain’s prime minister at the time, Trump interjected asking if London was a nuclear power, according to the Post.


Trump said invading Venezuela would be “cool” and the country was “really part of the United States,” the Post said.

The United States has recognised Juan Guaido, the head of the Venezuelan national assembly, as the country’s leader, a move that Trump approved.

But within 30 hours, Trump worried that Guaido looked weak compared to “tough” Nicolas Maduro and considered changing course, according to the Post.