Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Updated 9:43 AM ET, Thu June 18, 2020
(CNN)Donald Trump’s presidency has only ever been about one thing — himself.
So the President’s decision to risk exposing his supporters to coronavirus — and anyone they might later meet — at an indoor rally on Saturday and extraordinary revelations from former national security adviser John Bolton might be shocking. But they merely add to a bulging file of evidence about Trump’s incessant preoccupation with his own interests and image.
The foreign policy hawk’s book accuses the President of pleading with China’s leader Xi Jinping to help him win reelection. This would be an abuse of his duty that would be on a par with his quid pro quo demand in a political shake-down of Ukraine that got him impeached — that Bolton confirms. Bolton also writes that Trump tries to ingratiate himself with dictators by offering to intervene in criminal investigations on their behalf and also claims that Trump is easily manipulated by smart global counterparts, especially Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Trump, Bolton told ABC, is not “fit for office.”
Bolton clearly has revenge in mind, and during a long Washington career has often plowed what his critics see as a selfish furrow on behalf of his pet issues. He is being accused by Democrats for keeping quiet about Trump’s abuses of power during impeachment in order to make a buck with his tell-all. And unlike still-serving diplomats and civil servants with much more to lose, he declined to testify in public hearings.