Donald Trump is tricked into signing an executive order for election security

The Trump Timeline

Sources linked at end of page.


Related Topics

National Security Adviser John Bolton tricks Donald Trump into signing an executive order on election security. Intelligence officials feared that Trump wouldn’t sign it if he had a chance to ask how it would affect Russia.

The executive order would enable the U.S. to place sanctions on countries trying to interfere in American elections. It was drafted in the months prior by the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.

Trump wasn’t briefed on these efforts, because, as one individual involved in the process recalled, “there was a belief that such a meeting would go sideways.” Instead, according to Bolton’s book, on Sept. 12, 2018, as several aides gathered with the president to discuss the border wall, Bolton seized the moment and held out the executive order for Trump to sign. Suspiciously, the president asked whose idea the executive order was. Bolton volunteered that it was his. “Oh,” Trump said, and he signed it.

The New York Times

The 2020 New York Times investigation that includes this passage from Bolton’s book results in the latest Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, telling the ODNI’s communications department to blacklist the New York Times. (Freedom of press, hello, are you there?)


Photo: World Economic Forum

Get More Trump Secrets in Your Inbox


Related Topics

Also On Trump File