Books on Trump Are a Double-Edged Sword

John Bolton’s confessions in a new book about Donald Trump have criticized the president and the U.S. government. The more that is revealed about the White House’s internal chaos, the more the country’s credibility drops in the eyes of its allies and enemies.

In July 2016, just before the presidential election, Marc Fisher of The Washington Post pointed out in an article that Trump doesn’t read a lot and that being president was unlikely to change this. He was right. Since his arrival at the White House, Trump has changed the way information is managed within the government so as not to have to read too much.

The New York Times revealed that, in February 2017, the National Security Council received an order to reduce the security policy briefings to one page and to include lots of images, like graphics, tables and maps, so that the president could read them more easily. The worrying thing is that, even with the reduction of these briefings, Trump doesn’t necessarily read these documents at all, as he prefers to update himself through the allied media channels and conservative friends, as noted by media sources consulted. This is bad for national security.

As mentioned, Trump doesn’t like reading. However, his biggest problem with reading is perhaps not the length, but the content. Since the publication of “Fire and Fury” by journalist Michael Wolff in 2018, in which he confirmed that the president doesn’t read the presidential briefings, this series of books, which are revealing the White House’s secrets bit by bit, have further angered the head of state.

After Wolff’s book came “Fear: Trump in the White House,” by the experienced and revered American journalist Bob Woodward, in which a few public servants close to the president describe him as an “incapable” man and someone who has the “understanding of a fifth grader.” Along with that came “Unhinged,” written by Omarosa Manigault, Trump’s ex-political adviser and one of the first in the presidential circle to slam the president’s behavior. In summary, “Unhinged” put Trump’s mental stability into question, as well as describing him as someone who is incapable of controlling his impulses.

The saga of books dedicated to Trump is far from its end. In the heat of an American summer, a new series of works have arrived to annoy the president who, aware of how inconvenient they are for his reelection intentions, has started a war in the courtrooms to stop their publication, although this effort has failed so far. The first book has already been published. “The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump,” written by journalist Mary Jordan, reveals details that had previously been kept under wraps about the relationship between the president and the first lady, the latest being that she used the president’s need for her support in Washington to negotiate a better prenuptial deal. The book also describes the other side of a woman who, for many, is seen as an “elegant prisoner.”

But the book that without a doubt has put the president into the most awkward situation up until now is from his former national security advisor, John Bolton. “The Room Where It Happened,” published this Friday, after getting past the barriers the president had tried to impose in court to stop it coming out, describes Trump as “the biggest threat to the United States.” In the book, the president’s former employee notes that [Trump] asked China for reelection help, “begging” the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, to increase the purchase of American soybeans and wheat to keep Midwest voters happy. According to Bolton, every action Trump has taken while he has been in charge has been taken in order to win the election.

On the other hand, Trump expressed agreement with “building concentration camps” for the Uyghur minorities in China; offered “presidential favors” to leaders like Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stop investigations against him; demonstrated geopolitical ignorance in not knowing that the United Kingdom was a [nuclear] power, while also thinking that Finland was part of Russia; has notoriously made known his desire to leave NATO and noted that invading Venezuela would be “cool.” The book also gives details on the Venezuelan case, in which all seems to have been “left to chance.” Last but certainly not the least worrying, Trump suggested abolishing the constitutional limit of two terms in order to stay in power.

There are still some juicy titles yet to hit bookshelves. In little over a month, Trump’s niece, Mary L. Trump, will publish “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man. This book, aside from being launched strategically around the time of the Republican Convention, in which Trump will formally accept the nomination to a second term, reveals explosive details of one of the most “powerful and dysfunctional families in the world,” and about the traumas and abuses they were internally subjected to. Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, another of Trump’s national security advisors who abruptly left the government, will also publish a book on his 13 months in the White House called “Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World,” which will also give Trump a headache, due to McMaster having details on “Ukrainegate.” Further, Woodward will also publish a second book, still untitled, about the president in September, only six weeks before the elections.

Are books on Trump necessary? Of course. Even more so as the election looms ever closer. This kind of political revelation is currently on the rise and it’s desirable that the electorate itself be more informed, although it’s almost impossible that the pro-Trump followers will read these books. Either way, the publishing houses, like Simon & Schuster, responsible for publishing both Bolton’s and Mary Trump’s books, are providing a banquet of literature on the president, as are the allies and enemies of the U.S. Every revelation chips away a bit more at the country’s trust.

“[T]he content of the book further undermines any legitimacy of the US as a global leader. The President solicits election interference, views our justice system as his personal vendetta machine, is pro-concentration camps and anti-human rights, to name just a few causes for concern. While Bolton may not see any profits from his book, it is payday for Putin and our other enemies,” writes Samantha Vinograd, national security analyst for CNN.

Every detail in these books is a stab for Trump, as it is for the country, which is revealing its vulnerabilities and lack of government. In the case of Bolton, it’s the same. As Vinograd highlights, Bolton was once Trump’s accomplice. “It’s for this very reason that with every revelation, Bolton is digging a bigger grave for himself. If he was trying to redeem himself, this was out of place,”* writes the analyst. Although he can now stand against Trump, at the time, Bolton didn’t do anything to detain him. During his time in charge, he was an assistant to the erosion of the United States’ trust and national security.

*Editor’s note: This quote, accurately translated, could not be verified.

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