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President Donald Trump claimed early Monday morning that he “NEVER” communicated to John Bolton that military aid to Ukraine was conditioned on the launch of probes into his domestic political rivals, as the president's aides and allies sought to beat back intensified calls for Bolton's testimony at the Senate impeachment trial.

Trump delivered his repudiation of the explosive allegations in a series of tweets shortly after midnight, hours after The New York Times first reported that Trump allegedly told Bolton in August that the administration should continue withholding $391 million in security assistance until Ukrainian officials helped with investigations targeting former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democrats, according to a draft of Bolton’s forthcoming book.

“I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book,” the president wrote online.

“With that being said,” Trump continued, “the … transcripts of my calls with President Zelensky are all the proof that is needed, in addition to the fact that President Zelensky & the Foreign Minister of Ukraine said there was no pressure and no problems.”

Trump went on to cite his first face-to-face meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the United Nations in September, and asserted that he “released the military aid to Ukraine without any conditions or investigations - and far ahead of schedule.”

The president also referenced the State Department’s approval in October of a new sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, writing that “My Administration has done far more than the previous Administration.”

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: President Donald Trump. ? Mark Wilson/Getty Images President Donald Trump. The latest accusations of Trump’s pursuit of a quid pro quo with Ukraine strike at the heart of the impeachment articles the House passed in December, and have already provoked a fresh spate of demands by congressional Democrats for Bolton to testify in the president’s Senate trial.

Although Senate Republicans have been reluctant to hear additional testimony from Bolton as well as acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and others with knowledge of the Ukraine scandal, a vote to call new witnesses is expected in the coming days and would require the support of only four GOP lawmakers to succeed.

Bolton had refused to honor House Democrats’ request to sit for a deposition during their impeachment inquiry last year, deferring to a blanket order from the White House for administration officials to not cooperate with the investigation. But in an unexpected statement earlier this month, Bolton said he was “prepared to testify” should the Senate issue him a subpoena.

Later Monday morning, Trump again attempted to head off such a maneuver by the chamber charged with deciding whether to evict him from office, falsely tweeting that the “Democrat controlled House never even asked John Bolton to testify. It is up to them, not up to the Senate!”

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham similarly rebuffed the report based on Bolton’s manuscript, noting that his 528-page book was made available for pre-order on Amazon shortly after the news broke Sunday evening. She also recalled that the Times in 2017 published details of a memo which FBI Director James Comey leaked memorializing his interactions with the president.

“It’s very clear the president did nothing wrong. And then suddenly, this manuscript has magically appeared in the hands of The New York Times making very, very big claims. This is by a publisher — the same publisher that Comey used, also,” Grisham said Monday on “Fox & Friends.”

“And the fact that magically, again, you know, the book ordering online — pre-order link popped up a couple hours after all of this hit, you know, it’s sad,” she added. “But I think the timing is very suspect. And again, as the president said, that’s just not true. The president did nothing wrong. And we stand by exactly what we've been saying all along and exactly what the transcript has been showing all along.”

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, part of the team of House Republicans working to bolster the White House during the impeachment trial, said Monday that the revelation of Bolton’s alleged conversation with Trump last summer do not diminish the president’s defense, and predicted no new witnesses would testify before the Senate.

“No amount of New York Times reporting on some speculation from some unnamed source is going to change the fundamental facts,” Jordan told “Fox & Friends.”

Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, another member of Trump’s House impeachment team, agreed that the most recent development has not “changed the basic facts of what we’re talking about,” decrying “selective leaks” and admonishing House Democrats for not issuing their own subpoena for Bolton’s testimony.

“There was no conditionality. The Ukrainians did nothing for the aid, and they got the aid,” he told Fox News. “I think the discussions internally on how that went about just really doesn’t change anything, except it goes back to show that if he is such a relevant witness now, why was he not such a relevant witness for the House?”

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