National Security Advisor John Bolton has been fired by President Trump after the two “disagreed strongly” about many foreign policy issues. Bolton was the third person to hold the office under Trump and he faced some major challenges in the job. Now the search is on for someone to get foreign policy in top shape in the run-up to next year’s election.
The president tweeted that he had told John Bolton that “his services are no longer required at the White House.” Bolton himself tweeted a few minutes later, seeming to challenge Trump’s statement, but the facts speak for themselves — Bolton is out and will be replaced.
- Bolton is a former attorney, diplomat and political commentator. This was a break from the last two national security advisors, generals Michael Flynn and H.R. McMaster.
- Bolton’s politics are conservative and hawkish. This has put him in opposition to President Trump, who favors a more moderate foreign policy line. Trump’s priority is domestic policy and jobs, so he wants to reduce US involvement in foreign wars where possible. Bolton doesn’t always agree.
- For example, Bolton wants regime change in Iran. This is a hard-line position and one that carries a lot of risks. There’s a lot of tension between the democratic and religious sides of Iran’s government, and Trump’s strategy is to support the democratic side. Bolton wants to overthrow the whole lot — which could collapse the whole country into Iraq-style chaos.
- Now the disagreements have reached the level where Trump doesn’t feel he can work with Bolton anymore. He tweeted
I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2019
- Twelve minutes later Bolton sent his own tweet giving a slightly different version.
I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, "Let's talk about it tomorrow."
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) September 10, 2019
- Whether this is a disagreement or a misunderstanding, the fact is Bolton is no longer in the post. Right now, his former deputy, Charles Kupperman, is handling the job while a replacement is found.
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