Trump told China's authoritarian leader that Americans want him to change the US Constitution so he can serve more than 2 terms, according to John Bolton's new book

Thomas Peter/ReutersPresident Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping arrive at a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.
  • President Donald Trump told Chinese leader Xi Jinping that Americans were urging him to amend the US Constitution to allow him to serve more than two terms as president, according to former national security advisor John Bolton’s forthcoming book.
  • “Xi said he wanted to work with Trump for six more years, and Trump replied that people were saying that the two-term constitutional limit on presidents should be repealed for him,” Bolton writes, according to an excerpt of the book published in The Wall Street Journal.
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President Donald Trump told Chinese leader Xi Jinping that Americans were urging him to amend the US Constitution to allow him to serve more than two terms as president, according to former national security advisor John Bolton’s forthcoming book.

Bolton says Trump made the comment during a December 2018 dinner with Xi, the leader of China’s authoritarian Communist party, in Buenos Aires.

“One highlight came when Xi said he wanted to work with Trump for six more years, and Trump replied that people were saying that the two-term constitutional limit on presidents should be repealed for him,” Bolton writes in an excerpt of the book published in The Wall Street Journal. “Xi said the U.S. had too many elections, because he didn’t want to switch away from Trump, who nodded approvingly.”

Bolton wrote that Trump prioritised winning reelection over all else when it came to making important foreign policy decisions.

“I am hard pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” Bolton writes in “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.”

Bolton, who served as Trump’s top national security aide for about 16 months, also wrote that Trump asked Xi to help him win reelection – one of the most damning claims in Bolton’s detailed, 592-page account.

“He then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win,” Bolton writes, according to an excerpt of the book reported by news outlets. “He stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome. I would print Trump’s exact words but the government’s prepublication review process has decided otherwise.”

Bolton is a veteran of multiple Republican administrations and is a well-known and controversial defence hawk. As President George W. Bush’s undersecretary for arms control, Bolton pushed the later-discredited claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction – a key justification for the US invasion.

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