Jun 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: New book says Trump talked of COVID killing John Bolton

"Nightmare Scenario" book cover


"Nightmare Scenario," a book out next week on President Trump's handling of COVID, reports that he said he hoped it would take out his former national security adviser, John Bolton, who had just written an explosive tell-all about his time in the White House.

When asked about the quote, Bolton gave Axios' Jonathan Swan this classic reply: "Fooled me — I thought he was relying on his lawyers."

Here's the passage by Washington Post journalist Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta in "Nightmare Scenario," out Tuesday:

Trump had tried to joke about the virus for months, sometimes even mocking people who had become ill. ... At one meeting several months [before Trump got sick], NEC director Larry Kudlow had stifled a cough. The room had frozen.. ... Trump had waved his hands in front of his face, as if to jokingly ward off any flying virus particles, and then cracked a smile. "I was just kidding," he'd said. "Larry will never get COVID. He will defeat it with his optimism." ... "John Bolton," he had said ... "Hopefully COVID takes out John."

The authors' sources thought Trump was deadly serious.

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