US President Donald Trump sought help from Chinese President Xi Jinping to win re-election, ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton’s new book says.
Mr Bolton says Mr Trump wanted China to buy agricultural produce from US farmers, according to details of the forthcoming book previewed by US media.
He also says Mr Trump “remained stunningly uninformed on how to run the White House”.
The Trump administration is trying to block the book from hitting shelves.
Speaking to Fox News Mr Trump said of Mr Bolton: “He broke the law. This is highly classified information and he did not have approval.”
“He was a washed up guy,” the president added. “I gave him a chance.”
John Bolton joined the White House in April 2018 and left in September the following year, saying he had decided to quit as national security adviser. President Trump, however, said he had fired Mr Bolton because he disagreed “strongly” with him.
His 577-page tome, The Room Where It Happened, is due to go on sale on 23 June.
But on Wednesday night, the Department of Justice sought an emergency order from a judge to stop the book’s release.
The allegations refer to a meeting between President Trump and President Xi at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, in June last year.
“Trump, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming US presidential election [in 2020], alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win,” Mr Bolton wrote.
“He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.”