Donald Trump at podium in India with US flags behind him
USA

Donald Trump Was Unaware UK Was Nuclear Power, New Book Claims

Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton said in his new memoir that the US President is "stunningly uninformed".

Donald Trump at podium in India with US flags behind him

US President Donald Trump was unaware Britain was a nuclear power, according to leaks from a new book by his former national security advisor John Bolton.

Mr Bolton, who served for 17 months in the White House, described the president as "stunningly uninformed" in his new memoir, The Room Where It Happened.

There are reports the book has been leaked to the media despite efforts by the Trump administration to block its publication.

One excerpt told of a 2018 meeting with former prime minister Theresa May in which a UK official referred to Britain as a nuclear power.

Mr Trump is said to have replied: "Oh, are you a nuclear power?".

Mr Bolton makes it clear the line was not intended as a joke.

The US president said on Twitter that the book is "made up of lies and fake stories".

The book also claims the US came closer to withdrawing from NATO than is widely believed.

The former UN Ambassador wrote that at an alliance summit in 2018, Mr Trump had decided to tell allies the US would pull out if other countries did not increase their defence spending.

US President Donald Trump and then-National Security Advisor John Bolton in 2019 (Picture: PA).

According to the book, Mr Trump told Mr Bolton in a message: "We will walk out, and not defend those who have not (paid)."

However, ultimately, Mr Trump did not make such a dramatic threat and the US remained in the alliance.

Mr Bolton said Mr Trump also asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help his re-election chances, and had on occasion expressed a willingness to stop criminal investigations involving companies in China and Turkey in order to “give personal favours to dictators he liked”.

In September 2019, Mr Trump said he fired Mr Bolton - however, Mr Bolton said he had already offered to resign. 

The pair disagreed on a number of foreign policies, including the US' approach over Iran and Afghanistan. 

Cover image: US President Donald Trump (Picture: PA).