U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as National Security Adviser John Bolton listens during a meeting with President of Romania Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House August 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)
He fires them just as quickly as he hires them it seems. “President” Donald Trump has shown another of his handpicked administration members toward the door. This time, it is John Bolton, who took on the role of national security adviser.
In a tweet sent out Tuesday morning, Trump wrote “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 I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.”
Twelve minutes after Trump sent out his tweet, Bolton sent out one of his own, which seemed to offer a different telling of the events.
“I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, “Let’s talk about it tomorrow,” Bolton wrote.
Bolton was the third person to hold the position in Trump’s administration. He was preceded by H.R. McMaster, who took over the role following the forced resignation of Michael Flynn, who would go on to cooperate with Robert Mueller during the investigation into whether or not the “president” and his campaign colluded with Russia in order to win the 2016 presidential election.
According to NPR, several issues led to Bolton’s dismissal including:
The president appeared to have taken on the Afghanistan portfolio himself and cut many of his advisers — including Bolton — out of the matter.
Tensions reached a point at which Bolton reportedly was excluded from meetings about the war in Afghanistan, an issue that might otherwise have obviously fallen into the purview of the national security adviser.
Bolton’s aggressive positions on Venezuela, North Korea and Afghanistan clashed with the comparative reluctance of his boss to entertain new confrontations and his enthusiasm about winding down some old ones.
Trump promised to cut bait on the long-running war in Afghanistan, faulted the U.S. invasion of Iraq and rattled the foundations of America’s security posture around the world, including its forward deployment of forces and system of alliances in Europe and Asia.
Bolton, meanwhile, communicated in old-school terms to leaders in Caracas, Pyongyang and Tehran with threats about the prospect of direct action by the U.S. military.
Bolton and Trump were reported to have had a “prolonged estrangement” according to NPR, with White House staffers being quoted as saying Trump was viewing Bolton’s moves with “unease.”
While Trump was reportedly focused elsewhere, Bolton made moves that the “president” saw as pushing the United States into a conflict with Iran.
“He has strong views on things but that’s OK. I actually temper John, which is pretty amazing,” Trump said May 9, according to Politico. “I’m the one that tempers him. That’s okay. I have different sides. I have John Bolton and other people that are a little more dovish than him. I like John.”
That all seems to have changed as of Tuesday.
Now we’ll wait and see who is up next on the Trump Administration Summer Jam screen.