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OpinionColumnistsMark Chiusano

Should you buy John Bolton's new book?

A copy of "The Room Where It Happened,"

A copy of "The Room Where It Happened," by former national security adviser John Bolton, is photographed at the White House on Thursday in Washington.  Credit: AP/Alex Brandon

John Bolton’s much-anticipated-and-litigated White House memoir, “The Room Where It Happened,” is scheduled to go on sale Tuesday. You’ve already heard the tidbits about President Donald Trump suggesting he’d quash inconvenient investigations for foreign leaders; or his musing that it would be “cool” to invade Venezuela. To help you decide whether to shell out the $32.50 cover price for the rest of it, The Point got an early copy and took a look at what Bolton says about members of the extended New York political universe. 

Former Brooklynite Sen. Bernie Sanders: The Vermont senator proves himself to be on the minds of White House staff during a conversation between Bolton, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, and John Kelly, former chief of staff. Kelly is thinking about resigning and Bolton says he tried to convince him not to: “Do you think it will be better if you leave? At least wait until after the election. If you resign now, the whole election could go bad.” 

“Maybe it would be better that way,” Kelly says, according to Bolton. 

These days Bolton seems to think Trump is a lost cause and says that he won’t vote for the president. But in that conversation Bolton responded: 

“Whatever you do will be honorable, but there’s nothing positive about the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders having more authority.” 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: Schumer pops up a few times in the book’s nearly 600 pages, mentioned by Trump or Bolton particularly when the New Yorker and Trump have similar tough positions on China. 

“Trump didn’t hide his view (strongly shared by Chuck Schumer, just for context) that China was manipulating its currency for trade advantage,” writes Bolton. 

Strangely, the index points to an additional mention of Schumer that, on the in-text page itself, was missing in The Point’s copy. However, the page covers Trump’s discussion with Xi Jinping in which Bolton says the Chinese leader brings up “unnamed” political figures in the United States being hard on China. Trump apparently assumed he meant Democrats.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump: Bolton says the president’s relatives’ support for dropping Vice President Mike Pence from the ticket in favor of former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley was “not idle speculation.” And Trump was apparently ticked off by the “mess” created by Ivanka using personal email for government business. After the murder of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents, Trump wanted to personally read a statement of support for Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman who multiple reports found liable for the murder. 

“This will divert from Ivanka,” Trump allegedly said. 

Fox News: The New York media empire’s flagship channel is often in the back of Trump’s mind, Bolton suggests. It’s the source of information about potential bombing targets in Syria, and the sustenance Trump turns to during a brief break in meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong un. In that case, Trump wanted to “see how the late night shows were covering” testimony from that other New Yorker, Michael Cohen.

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