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Who is John Bolton? Former national security adviser says Trump withheld aid in upcoming memoir

Did President Donald Trump withhold funding from Ukraine in exchange for a political favor? The former national security adviser claims to know the answer.

in this Feb. 7, 2019, file photo, from left, national security adviser John Bolton, accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and President Donald Trump, speaks before Trump signs a National Security Presidential Memorandum to launch the “Women’s Global Development and Prosperity” Initiative in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Trump later fired Bolton, who could figure prominently in the next phase of Trump’s impeachment trial.
Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Former national security adviser John Bolton has now said that President Donald Trump did withhold military aid to Ukraine to convince that country’s officials to agree to investigate a political rival, according to a manuscript of his upcoming book.

In pages from the memoir first described by The New York Times, Bolton contradicts the president’s insistence that there was “no quid pro quo” in which military aide to Ukraine was conditional on the announcement of an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

In their own reporting, The Associated Press have confirmed the content of the manuscript related to the president’s actions.

Will Bolton testify in the impeachment trial?

The story has reinvigorated questions of whether Republican senators will allow witnesses — like Bolton — to testify during the impeachment trial. According to The New York Times’ story, the memoir differs from the account expected from the president’s defense team.

“I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens,” Trump tweeted in a thread denying Bolton’s accusation shortly after midnight (EST) on Monday.

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah said Monday he wouldn’t make a decision on witness testimony until after the prosecution and defense have both presented their arguments and that it was “increasingly apparent that it would be important to hear from John Bolton.”

But who is John Bolton?

Bolton, 71, is a lifelong conservative political operative who has worked for several Republican administrations.

He began his political career at age 15, stepping away from school to campaign for longtime Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, according to the the BBC.

He went on to work in national security and foreign policy under various Republican administrations, starting with the Reagan administration. In 2003, as the undersecretary for arms control he helped to justify President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, Business Insider reported.

He went on to serve as Bush’s appointed ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006, but was unable to stay in the position lacking Congressional support for his confirmation, Time magazine reported.

Bolton served as Trump’s national security adviser for nearly a year and a half before leaving the White House in September, the day before military aid was released to Ukraine, according to the AP. In that position, he was often called a “hawk” on foreign policy, supporting the president’s American nationalist agenda.

In 2013, Bolton created the John Bolton PAC, which has provided support to conservative candidates in the 2014, 2016 and 2018 elections.

His book, titled “The Room Where it Happened; A White House Memoir,” is scheduled to be released on March 17, the AP reported.