The Department of Justice said an alleged claim by former national security adviser John Bolton that Attorney General William Barr was concerned about "personal favors" President Donald Trump did for certain world leaders "grossly mischaracterizes" the situation.
Kerri Kupec, the DOJ's director of communications and public affairs, posted an official statement late Monday night that refuted what Bolton reportedly wrote in a manuscript for his book. The New York Times spoke with several people who have seen the draft and reported that Barr told Bolton last year he was worried about what Trump was doing for the leaders of Turkey and China.
"While the Department of Justice has not reviewed Mr. Bolton's transcript, The New York Times' account of this conversation grossly mischaracterizes what Attorney General Barr and Mr. Bolton discussed," the statement reads.
"There was no discussion of 'personal favors' or 'undue influence' on investigations, nor did Attorney General Barr state that the president's conversations with foreign leaders was improper. If this is truly what Mr. Bolton has written, then it seems he is attributing to Attorney General Barr his own current views — views with which Attorney General Barr does not agree."
The Times first published claims from Bolton's book draft Sunday night, in which he is said to have accused Trump of withholding U.S. military aid to Ukraine last summer to force Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
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