John Bolton Book Print to Pass 1 Million Despite Trump's Effort to Block It

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton's new tell-all book of his time in the White House is set to reach the milestone of 1 million books printed, according to his publisher Simon & Schuster.

The book—The Room Where It Happened—was released earlier this month. It details Bolton's 18 months in President Donald Trump's administration, during which time he reportedly clashed with the president over a range of foreign policy issues.

Simon & Schuster told Newsweek Wednesday that Bolton's book sold more than 780,000 copies in all formats during its first week of sale. The publisher has now ordered an eleventh printing of the book, which when complete will bring the number of hardcover copies to 1 million.

The book was published despite Trump's efforts to stop it. The Department of Justice sued Bolton to try and stop the planned release, arguing that the book contained classified information that it was illegal to disclose.

A judge threw out the lawsuit shortly before the publication date, but said Bolton had "gambled with the national security of the United States" and "exposed his country to harm."

The book contains numerous revelations about a Trump administration Bolton paints as chaotic, nepotistic and incompetent. Bolton—a prominent hawkish neoconservative who has served three previous presidents—clashed with Trump on a range of issues, including China, North Korea and Iran.

Though his revelations are embarrassing for the president, Bolton has been criticized for not coming forward with his damning recollections sooner.

Democrats were pushing for Bolton to speak with House investigators during Trump's impeachment process, but he declined. Bolton said he would be willing to appear at Trump's Senate trial—where he was eventually acquitted by the Republican majority—but this was blocked by the president's GOP allies.

In interviews ahead of his book release, Bolton defended his decision to avoid the impeachment process and accused the Democrats of playing party politics rather than trying to hold the president to account.

The president has dismissed Bolton as a "sick puppy" and claimed the book is "a compilation of lies and made up stories, all intended to make me look bad." He added: "Many of the ridiculous statements he attributes to me were never made, pure fiction."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo features heavily in the book, characterized as an ambitious and obsequious member of the administration that nonetheless frequently disagreed with the president's decisions.

Pompeo rejected Bolton's book as "a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths, and outright falsehoods." The secretary of state branded Bolton a "traitor who damaged America by violating his sacred trust with its people."

But the book has performed well despite—or more likely helped by—the Trump administration's opposition. Simon & Schuster said Bolton's book is expected to top best-seller lists in the U.K., Australia and Canada, as well as the U.S. Foreign rights have so far been sold in ten languages.

Previous best-selling exposes of the Trump administration have also performed strongly in their opening weeks. Michael Wolf's Fire and Fury sold 700,000 copies with 1.4 million orders placed over its first week of release. This was despite having to hurriedly move publication date up in response to a cease and desist letter from the administration.

Legendary journalist Bob Woodward's book—Fear—posted an even more impressive opening week, topping 1.1 million sales.

JOhn Bolton, book, sales, Donald Trump
Copies of former National Security Advisor John Bolton's book "The Room Where it Happened" are pictured at Barnes & Noble in Glendale, California on June 23, 2020. ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images/Getty
John Bolton Book Print to Pass 1 Million Despite Trump's Effort to Block It | Politics