White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro has rejected John Bolton's allegations that President Trump requested Xi Jinping's assistance in winning the election in 2020.
In an interview with CNN, Navarro said that he was present in the room when Trump and Xi met and that the two leaders never discussed such an issue.
"I never heard that. I was in the room", Navarro said.
The adviser's words echo US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer's statement in which he similarly rejected the allegations, stressing that he attended the meeting, but never heard Trump discuss the matter with Xi.
According to an extract from Bolton's book titled "The Room Where It Happened" published in the Washington Post, the president "pled with Xi to ensure he'd win" in the coming US presidential election, praising China's "economic capability" to influence his campaign. The conversation reportedly took place during their meeting at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, last June.
The US Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the release of the book as it might contain sensitive data and compromise national security. However, the judge denied the request, paving way for the book to be published on Tuesday.