The New York Times: Bolton vs. Mark Langfan

The Bolton “Revelations” are anything but.

Mark Langfan

OpEds John Bolton meets with Netanyahu at PM's residence
John Bolton meets with Netanyahu at PM's residence
Mark Langfan

Much has been made of the “blockbuster” New York Times article about John Bolton’s upcoming “tell-all” book. I’ve responded to every substantive paragraph in the entire article, and proved the Bolton “Revelations” are anything but. Here’s my blow-by-blow counter-attack on the latest attack on President Trump.

NY Times/BoltonPresident Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, this according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

Langfan: First, the President acted entirely appropriately in demanding “help with investigations” of possible corruption, and, specifically, into what was a reasonably predicated investigation of the Biden quid-pro-quo tape and Hunter Biden’s complete lack of expertise while earning millions of dollars from Burisma.

NY Times/Bolton: The president’s statement as described by Mr. Bolton could undercut a key element of his impeachment defense: that the holdup in aid was separate from Mr. Trump’s requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his perceived enemies, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, who had worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was in office.

Langfan: The Times’ first paragraph actually supports the President’s assertion that the aid was not tied to the “announcement of the investigation,” merely to the investigation of the Bidens.  And the investigation of the Biden’s was, once again, legitimate exercise of Presidential power.

NY Times/Bolton: Just after midnight on Monday, Mr. Trump denied telling Mr. Bolton that the aid was tied to investigations. “If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book,” he wrote on Twitter, reprising his argument that the Ukrainians themselves felt “no pressure” and falsely asserting that the aid was released ahead of schedule.

Langfan: To understand what “tied to investigations” means, one has to actually read through the article to almost the very end, where the Times/Bolton article states:

NY Times/Bolton: In his August 2019 discussion with Mr. Bolton, the president appeared focused on the theories Mr. Giuliani had shared with him, replying to Mr. Bolton’s question that he preferred sending no assistance to Ukraine until officials had turned over all materials they had about the Russia investigation that related to Mr. Biden and supporters of Mrs. Clinton in Ukraine.

Langfan: Bolton is saying that the Ukraine has documents that might prove Vice President Biden is guilty of gross corruption when he was Vice President, and/or documents which prove Hilary Clinton was involved in using Ukraine to gin up a false claim of Russian collusion against President Trump. And, further, the Ukraine hasn’t disgorged “all materials they had” about Biden and the Russian Collusion hoax?? The President would be violating his oath of office if he did not use every lever to get those documents.

NY Times/Bolton: Over dozens of pages, Mr. Bolton described how the Ukraine affair unfolded over several months until he departed the White House in September. He described not only the president’s private disparagement of Ukraine but also new details about senior cabinet officials who have publicly tried to sidestep involvement.

Langfan: So, Bolton tattles about the “President’s private disparagement of Ukraine.”  So President Trump “disparaged” the Ukraine.  Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries on the planet, so President Trump should get an award for telling the truth, not an impeachment. And, Bolton tattles on “senior cabinet officials” who have “publicly tried to sidestep involvement.”  Nobody cares what senior officials have done.

NY Times/Bolton: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged privately that there was no basis to claims by the president’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani that the ambassador to Ukraine was corrupt and believed Mr. Giuliani may have been acting on behalf of other clients, Mr. Bolton wrote.

Langfan: Who cares if Trump fires the ambassador for any reason including a mistaken reason.  The President can fire any ambassador for any reason he wants, whether he is right on the facts or wrong on the facts. 

NY Times/Bolton:Mr. Bolton also said that after the president’s July phone call with the president of Ukraine, he raised with Attorney General William P. Barr his concerns about Mr. Giuliani, who was pursuing a shadow Ukraine policy encouraged by the president, and told Mr. Barr that the president had mentioned him on the call. A spokeswoman for Mr. Barr denied that he learned of the call from Mr. Bolton; the Justice Department has said he learned about it only in mid-August.

Langfan: This actually proves exculpatory for the President because all Bolton supposedly alleged was “wrong” about the call to the Ukrainian President was that Bolton allegedly told Barr it was about Giuliani’s “shadow Ukraine policy,” and not anything wrong in what the President said in the call.

NY Times/Bolton:And the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, was present for at least one phone call where the president and Mr. Giuliani discussed the ambassador, Mr. Bolton wrote. Mr. Mulvaney has told associates he would always step away when the president spoke with his lawyer to protect their attorney-client privilege.

Langfan: Who cares if Mulvaney was included on a call if Giuliani could claim that the conversation that Mulvaney heard was not a legally protected attorney/client protected call.

NY Times/Bolton: During a previously reported May 23 meeting where top advisers and Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, briefed him about their trip to Kiev for the inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Trump railed about Ukraine trying to damage him and mentioned a conspiracy theory about a hacked Democratic server, according to Mr. Bolton.

Langfan: The President can have a policy that Bolton thinks is wrong, and not factually based.  President Trump can’t be impeached for getting some facts “wrong,” or a policy “wrong.” He’s the President.  And, Ukrainian officials did try to damage him. Also, alleging that Crowdstrike, the Ukrainian company that claimed the Russians hacked the DNC computers without providing the actual physical computer to the FBI is not a “conspiracy theory,” it’s an absolute fact.

NY Times/Bolton: In recent days, some White House officials have described Mr. Bolton as a disgruntled former employee, and have said he took notes with him that he should have left behind when he departed the administration.

Langfan: Bolton is clearly a “disgruntled former employee.”  And, Bolton clearly has a huge financial interest in spinning false information.

NY Times/Bolton: Mr. Trump told reporters last week that he did not want Mr. Bolton to testify and said that even if he simply spoke out publicly, he could damage national security.

Langfan: Bolton’s statements that President Trump made “disparaging” comments about Ukraine clearly is terrible for American National Security.

NY Times/Bolton: “The problem with John is it’s a national security problem,” Mr. Trump said at a news conference in Davos, Switzerland. "He knows some of my thoughts. He knows what I think about leaders. What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader and it’s not very positive?”

“It’s going to make the job very hard,” he added.

Langfan: If Bolton reveals other disparaging President Trump comments about other world leaders, such as the lunatic hermit North Korean dictator, Bolton can actually start a war where American soldiers may die.

NY Times/Bolton: Mr. Bolton and Mr. Trump soured on each other over several global crises, including Iranian aggression, Mr. Trump’s posture toward Russia and, ultimately, the Ukraine, matter. Mr. Bolton was also often at odds with Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Mulvaney throughout his time in the administration.

Langfan: This Times/Bolton statement actually proves why Bolton is trying to falsely attack Mulvaney and Pompeo with spins that mean absolutely nothing, but hurt their public and private standing.

NY Times/Bolton:Key to Mr. Bolton’s account about Ukraine is an exchange during a meeting in August with the president after Mr. Trump returned from vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Mr. Bolton raised the $391 million in congressionally appropriated assistance to Ukraine for its war in the country’s east against Russian-backed separatists. Officials had frozen the aid, and a deadline was looming to begin sending it to Kiev, Mr. Bolton noted.

He, Mr. Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper had collectively pressed the president about releasing the aid nearly a dozen times in the preceding weeks after lower-level officials who worked on Ukraine issues began complaining about the holdup, Mr. Bolton wrote. Mr. Trump had effectively rebuffed them, airing his longstanding grievances about Ukraine, which mixed legitimate efforts by some Ukrainians to back his Democratic 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, with unsupported accusations and outright conspiracy theories about the country, a key American ally.

Langfan: President Trump can hold back all the funds if he feels that the Ukraine was involved in an illegal attempt to collude with the Clinton campaign against him.  Bolton says the illegal Ukraine/Clinton collusion was “legitimate efforts” to back Clinton. Is Bolton crazy?

And what if President Trump believed in some conspiracy theories about the Ukraine? So far, every “conspiracy theory” Trump has ever had about the Russia Collusion/FBI Spying have been proved factual and criminal conspiracies, not false red-herrings.

NY Times/Bolton: Mr. Giuliani spent months stoking the president’s paranoia about the American ambassador to Ukraine at the time, Marie L. Yovanovitch, claiming that she was openly anti-Trump and needed to be dismissed. Mr. Trump ordered her removed as early as April 2018 during a private dinner with two Giuliani associates and others, a recording of the conversation made public on Saturday showed.

Langfan: Who says they are false “conspiracies”? And, if President Trump actually believed and acted on a false conspiracy, and fired an ambassador, who cares. The President can fire any ambassador he wants for whatever reason.

NY Times/Bolton: In his August 2019 discussion with Mr. Bolton, the president appeared focused on the theories Mr. Giuliani had shared with him, replying to Mr. Bolton’s question that he preferred sending no assistance to Ukraine until officials had turned over all materials they had about the Russia investigation that related to Mr. Biden and supporters of Mrs. Clinton in Ukraine.

Langfan: Bolton is actually admitting that the Ukraine has documents which could prove Biden committed bribery crimes, and that Clinton criminally colluded with the Ukraine to falsely smear President Trump with the Russian Collusion NY hoax.

Times/Bolton: The president often hits at multiple opponents in his harangues, and he frequently lumps together the law enforcement officials who conducted the Russia inquiry with Democrats and other perceived enemies, as he appeared to do in speaking to Mr. Bolton.

Langfan: Who cares who President Trump harangues?  Nobody.  “Harangue-ing” is not a “high crime or misdemeanor.

NY Times/Bolton: Mr. Bolton also described other key moments in the pressure campaign, including Mr. Pompeo’s private acknowledgment to him last spring that Mr. Giuliani’s claims about Ms. Yovanovitch had no basis and that Mr. Giuliani may have wanted her removed because she might have been targeting his clients who had dealings in Ukraine as she sought to fight corruption.

Langfan: President Trump can fire any ambassador for any reason, including the color of her eyes.

NY Times/Bolton: Mr. Bolton also said he warned White House lawyers that Mr. Giuliani might have been leveraging his work with the president to help his private clients.

Langfan: This has nothing to do with President Trump.  If “leveraging his work” to help his private clients is a crime, the entire Washington DC would be locked up in a super-Max prison.

The Times/Bolton article is pure fabrication, wrapped in Trump-hate.



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