- - Monday, July 13, 2020

John Bolton always looks like someone who just realized he forgot to put any underwear on. Now he’s just published a book of memoirs in which he’s forgotten to remember any of his mistakes. The bad thing about memoirs is that most of the people who write them have selective memories. They remember only what interests them. The case of Mr. Bolton goes far beyond. He remembers with incredible precision things that never actually happened.

This is the only explanation for the fact that a large portion of his book tells of events, wars and government measures that never occurred, much to the annoyance of the ex-adviser, always up for a game of Battleship. From the various extracts of the book that have been leaked, one draws two conclusions: that Mr. Bolton was in the room where it happened, and that he understood none of it.

President Trump paid no attention to Mr. Bolton. I don’t judge him. Mr. Bolton is now throwing a tantrum. Mr. Trump should try sending him flowers. Maybe if he seasoned Iran with Tomahawks, Mr. Bolton would go back to eating out of his hand. Mr. Trump could paint “I love Bolton” on the missiles and make a nice Instagram story out of it. That would work. Maybe the little traitor is just suffering from lack of attention. Although he’s certainly going to get it after this book.

My colleagues in the European press, who were all too keen to be shocked by Mr. Trump, have been very shocked by the book and are dying to interview the author in their tedious left-wing Sunday papers, with photographs of Mr. Bolton in black and white and thick letters in quotation marks spelling “I accuse.” Sometimes I think that the United States exists only because European journalists do not vote there.

Some of the book’s chapters should be R rated. The relationship between President Xi Jinping and Mr. Trump that Mr. Bolton paints sways between erotic novel and the jealousy in an intense after-lunch movie. On the one hand, the fascination and love that both leaders feel for each other, always according to the author. And on the other hand, the extreme trust between them prompts intimate conversations in which, to Mr. Bolton’s indignation, they both deviate from the script and Mr. Trump ends up asking the Chinese Communist for help in winning the elections. 

Mr. Bolton missed a perfect opportunity for a plot twist: It would have been really funny if it had been Mr. Xi who had asked Mr. Trump for help to win the elections. I don’t know, maybe Mr. Bolton has been watching too much romance after being fired. Something similar happened to Don Quixote with the chivalric novels. But Don Quixote was infinitely more fun than Mr. Bolton.

“The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir” is a big boost for Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign. Not only does it show that the president’s advisers often advise nonsense, but it confirms that this president rejected it showing sound judgment. The only mistake the president seems to have made is hiring Mr. Bolton in the first place. And he’s fixed that. The book is the proof. Mr. Trump, far from banning it, should give it away in a pack with the complete works of the Marx Brothers and Peppa Pig’s greatest hits. 

• Itxu Diaz, a Spanish journalist, political satirist and author of nine books, was an adviser to the Ministry for Education, Culture and Sports in Spain. Follow him on Twitter at @itxudiaz or visit his website www.itxudiaz.com. 

Translated by Joel Dalmau

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