comScore Jake Tapper Goes Off on Trump Over John Bolton Book Detail

A Stunned Jake Tapper Goes Off on Trump Over Bolton Allegation About Chinese Concentration Camps: ‘That Is, if True, Obscene’

CNN’s Jake Tapper was particularly shocked on Wednesday by one of the many allegations from John Bolton made in his new book about President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump, Bolton writes, spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping and asked him to help him win reelection in 2020. There are other details about the president’s dealings with China, but this allegation in particular — from an excerpt of the book published in the Wall Street Journal — stunned a lot of people:

Beijing’s repression of its Uighur citizens also proceeded apace. Trump asked me at the 2018 White House Christmas dinner why we were considering sanctioning China over its treatment of the Uighurs, a largely Muslim people who live primarily in China’s northwest Xinjiang Province.

At the opening dinner of the Osaka G-20 meeting in June 2019, with only interpreters present, Xi had explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang. According to our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do. The National Security Council’s top Asia staffer, Matthew Pottinger, told me that Trump said something very similar during his November 2017 trip to China.

“That is, if true, obscene!” Tapper said. “The president of the United States of America signing off with the Chinese president, ‘Go ahead and build your concentration camps,’ locking up this ethnic minority.”

CNN national security correspondent Vivian Salama said it’s a “very blatant abuse of rights” that top officials in the administration have called out.

“I can’t speak to the president’s mindset, obviously. I don’t know to the extent to which he was briefed in advance on the issue of the Uighurs. And so there is that to take into consideration. That’s not revealed so far in the excerpts that we have. However, it’s something that typically any U.S. president would sort of know that they should not proceed with any kind of encouragement about any kind of concentration camps or something like that,” she added.

You can watch above, via CNN.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac