US President Donald Trump tried to get China’s Xi Jinping to help him secure 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.
Warning: This article contains strong language
Can publication be prevented?
Mr Bolton’s 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 publisher, Simon & Schuster, said in a statement: “Tonight’s filing by the government is a frivolous, politically motivated exercise in futility.”
It said hundreds of thousands of copies of the book have already been distributed around the world and the injunction would accomplish nothing.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump called in to a Fox News programme and 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.”
The foreign policy hawk 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.