Former national security adviser John Bolton has said in his new book that US President Donald Trump sought help from Chinese President Xi Jinping to win forthcoming re-election.
Bolton, a longtime foreign policy hawk who Trump fired in September, 2019 said Mr Trump wanted China to buy agricultural produce from US farmers, according to his new book previewed by the New York Times.
He added that Mr Trump "remained stunningly uninformed on how to run the White House".
In his hit-back response, Mr Trump said Mr Bolton was "a liar". He also told Fox News of Bolton that "He broke the law. This is highly classified information and he did not have approval".
"He was a washed up guy," the president added. "I gave him a chance."
Bolton's new book excerpt published by the US media portrays a US president mocked by his top advisers who exposed himself to a far more extensive accusations of impropriety than those that drove the Democratic-led House of Representatives to impeach Mr Trump last year.
Bolton's allegations in his new book provide new ammunition to critics ahead of the 3rd November 2020 presidential election, including his behind-the-scenes accounts of Trump's conversations with China's Xi – which, in one case, broached the topic of the US vote.
Bolton wrote that, given China's economic capability, Mr Trump pleaded with Mr Xi to ensure he would win in the coming US presidential election.
China's foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said 'China has no intention of interfering with the elections or internal affairs of the United States. He disclosed this while responding to questions about Bolton's claims at a news briefing on Thursday, 18 June, 2020.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in Senate testimony that Bolton's account was "absolutely untrue", reiterating the request for help with re-election "never happened".
Mr Trump's Democratic challenger in this November's election, Joe Biden said in a statement about the book: "if these accounts are true, it's not only morally repugnant, it's a violation of Donald Trump's sacred duty to the American people".
The Trump administration is trying to block the book from hitting shelves.
Mr Bolton's 577-page tome, The Room where It Happened, is due to go on sale 23 June, 2020.
The Department of Justice on Wednesday night, 17 June 2020, sought an emergency order from a judge to stop the book's release.