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Tipsheet

WATCH: Bolton Described Trump's Call With Zelensky a Month After It Took Place

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

A so-called "bombshell" excerpt from former National Security Adviser John Bolton's latest book was leaked over the weekend. According to a report from the New York Times, Bolton claims President Donald Trump made $391 million in military aid to Ukraine contingent upon Ukrainian officials launching an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, for corruption.

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Democrats are citing this excerpt as yet another reason to have witnesses testify in President Trump's impeachment trial and, in particular, to hear from Bolton.

But, if you remember, the former national security adviser took part in an interview back in August. In that interview, he describes the United States' foreign policy position relating to Ukraine. He even went so far as to mention Trump's call with Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky. 

"I will be meeting President Zelensky. He and President Trump have already spoken twice. The president called President Zelensky to congratulate him on his election and then on his success in the parliamentarian election. They were very warm and cordial calls," Bolton said. "We're hoping that they'll be able to meet in Warsaw and have a few minutes together because the success of Ukraine maintaining its freedom, its system of representative government, a free-market economy free of corruption, and dealing with the problems of the Donbass Crimea are high priorities here. Obviously it's high priorities for the United States as well."

President Trump met with Zelensky at the end of September at the United Nations, just as Bolton had hoped. During that meeting, Zelensky thanked Trump for meeting with him. He even threw punches at former President Barack Obama, saying Obama "never found the time" to meet with Ukrainian officials, Vox reported back in September.

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Zelensky also invited Trump to visit Ukraine since the president has never been there. 

"That’s right, and your predecessor — how I say in English? Didn’t find the time," Zelensky said at the time. "So can you give me your word you will come to our great country?”

Trump promised to try and make it.

Why is Bolton suddenly changing his tune? Is it because he has a book that's dropping soon? Sure sounds like it. If he was worried about quid pro quo he would have said something throughout the entire impeachment inquiry. He wouldn't all of a sudden have some shocking revelation to reveal.

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