Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mocked President Trump behind his back and Attorney General Bill Barr shared his concerns, according to the blockbuster book by former National Security Advisor John Bolton.
In details of the forthcoming book in USA media, Mr Bolton says Mr Trump wanted China to buy agricultural produce from United States farmers.
The publisher added in a statement that the lawsuit "is nothing more than the latest in a long-running series of efforts by the administration to quash publication of a book it deems unflattering to the president".
"Simon & Schuster is fully supportive of Ambassador Bolton's First Amendment right to tell the story of his time in the Trump White House", Julia Prosser, vice president and director of publicity for the publishing house, said in a statement last week.
The former adviser names a litany of shocking statements made by Trump, from quipping it would be "cool" if the U.S. invaded Venezuela and that he believed it was "really part of the United States", to mixing up former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the present leader, Ashraf Ghani, and ranting about the 1941 Battle of Pearl Harbor during trade negotiations with Japanese officials.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday that he attended a meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Xi at the Group of 20 nations in Osaka, but he never heard Mr Trump pleading with Mr Xi to buy more agricultural products to ensure he would win re-election.
Both Bolton and Pompeo, according to Bolton, were upset with how Trump handled the conversation. Excerpts published Tuesday by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post contain numerous bombshells.
"I truly hope Trump throws Bolton in some kind of hellish, off the books dungeon for his treason", tweeted Will Menaker, cohost of the Chapo Trap House podcast.
Instead, Bolton wrote, they should have expanded their inquiry to a host of misdeeds on the part of the president, including what Bolton described as improper involvement on behalf of authoritarian governments in China and Turkey.
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In a summer 2019 meeting in New Jersey, Trump allegedly said journalists should be jailed so they have to divulge their sources: "These people should be executed".
Mr Bolton, who was Mr Trump's national security adviser until September, recounts a conversation between the U.S. president and Xi Jinping in the book, according to The Washington Post.
Mr Trump stressed the importance of American farmers and how "increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat" could affect the election result in the US.
"His thinking was like an archipelago of dots (like individual real estate deals), leaving the rest of us to discern - or create - policy", Bolton said about Trump's articulation of his overarching philosophy for governance.
The court is asked to order Bolton to request that the book's publisher, Simon & Schuster, further delay a publication date that originally was to have been in April so that the NSC can complete its pre-publication review.
"He is so full of shit", the note said, according to a Bolton excerpt in the Washington Post.
Bolton's claim that Trump was appealing to China to assist his reelection effort comes as the president's rhetoric toward the US geopolitical rival has grown more acerbic in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
After the summit, Bolton claimed Trump became transfixed with getting Kim a copy of Elton John's "Rocket Man" CD, signed by the artist.