The Justice Department on Tuesday denied bombshell allegations reportedly included in a book manuscript by former National Security Adviser John R. Bolton that said the attorney general expressed concern that President Trump was effectively pledging personal favors to the leaders of China and Turkey.
Those favors included creating the appearance that Attorney General William P. Barr could influence independent investigations of companies in those countries, according to a report by The New York Times.
Among the investigations that Mr. Barr singled out was the Justice Department’s probe into Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE, according to the report.
In 2017, ZTE pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions by doing business with Iran and North Korea.
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Mr. Bolton’s account of his talk with the attorney general is wrong.
“There was no discussion of ‘personal favors’ or ‘undue influence’ on investigations, nor did Attorney General Barr state that the President’s conversations with foreign leaders was improper,” Ms. Kupec said in a statement.
“If this is truly what Mr. Bolton has written, then it seems he is attributing to Attorney General Barr his own current views — which Attorney General Barr does not agree,” the statement continued.