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Trump and Bolton in 2019. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump sure is good at selling books — even when they attack him.

The state of play: The president said this week that "a lot of people are upset" that John Bolton, his former national security adviser, had written the 592-page book — "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir," out Tuesday.

  • "I will consider every conversation with me, as president, highly classified," he said.
  • "So that would mean that if he wrote a book and if ... the book gets out, he's broken the law.  And I would think that he would have criminal problems."

Why it matters: For an author and publisher, that's gold.

  • Then yesterday, the Justice Department sued to block publication of the book, which has already been shipped.
  • Trump's opposition to publication vastly increases the book's value, and reader interest around the world.

Sure enough, a week before publication, Bolton's book hit #1 on Amazon's bestsellers list.

What's next: Bolton plans a ton of interviews.

  • And we're told that Attorney General William Barr has a starring role in the book.
Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
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Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Sep 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Woodward book sells 600,000 copies in Week 1

Screenshot via CNN

Simon & Schuster announced that Bob Woodward’s "Rage" sold 600,000 copies in the U.S. in Week 1, including pre-orders, sales of print books, ebooks, audiobooks and e-audiobooks.

The big picture: Woodward's book dropped a series of scathing reports on President Trump, including that he purposefully played down the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic.

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.