While there was some feverish speculation as to what an impromptu presser at 1:30pm with US Secretary of State Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and National Security Adviser Bolton would deliver, that was quickly swept aside moments later when Trump unexpectedly announced that he had fired Bolton as National Security Advisor, tweeting that he informed John Bolton "last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House" after "disagreeing strongly with many of his suggestions", in the process ending a tumultuous tenure marked by several setbacks in U.S. foreign policy.
According to sources, while Trump had been growing displeased with Bolton's belligerent recommendations and overall demeanor (recall "Bolton 'Deep in His Heart' Believes Trump Is a 'Moron,' Former Aide Claims"), the tipping point happened when Bolton expressed his displeasure with Trump's impromptu invitation of the Taliban to Camp David on the week of the Sept 11 anniversary, a peace overture which as we reported over the weekend, collapsed in the last moment.
As with every Trump personnel decision, this one too appears not to have gone off without a hitch, and minutes after Trump's announcment, Bolton tweeted that "I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, "Let's talk about it tomorrow.""
It was unclear if they "talked about it", but Trump's verdict was clear: "you're fired", although as the new Yorker's Susan Glasser writes, "this is a Trump Admin first, I believe. A dumped official actually disputing the President's account of the dumping. Will Bolton become the first of the natsec advisers Trump has publicly humiliated to break with him and reveal what has been going on backstage?"
Whatever the reason for Bolton's departure, this means one less warmongering neocon is left in the DC swamp, and is a prudent and long overdue move by Trump, one which even Trump's liberals enemies will have no choice but to applaud, and speaking of applauding, nobody will be happier than Iran and Venezuela:
As Bloomberg details the often heated relationship, Bolton, 70, joined the White House in April 2018, "bringing an interventionist view into Trump’s inner circle."
From the outset, Bolton seemed like an odd fit under a president who champions an “America First” agenda. At times, he pursued his longstanding foreign policy priorities, creating tension with top administration officials and the president himself.
Bolton came to the post best known for his ardent support of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq while serving in the George W. Bush administration. He was later was a Fox News contributor and senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
Weeks before joining the White House, Bolton wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed arguing for a preemptive strike against North Korea, only for Trump to instead pursue diplomacy with Kim Jong Un. Bolton said that his personal views were “now behind me” and that “the important thing is what the president says and what advice I give him.” Yet, when Trump made a June visit to the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean Peninsula to meet with Kim, Bolton was absent, meeting with officials in Mongolia instead.
While we await more details on this strike by Trump against the military-industrial complex-enabling Deep State, here is a fitting closer from Curt Mills via the American Conservative:
Ending America’s longest war would be a welcome rebuttal to Democrats who will, day in and day out, charge that Trump is a fraud. But to do so, he will likely need a national security advisor more in sync with the vision. Among them: Tucker Carlson favorite Douglas Macgregor, Stephen Biegun, the runner-up previously, or the hawkish, but relatively pragmatic retired General Jack Keane.
Bolton seems to be following the well-worn trajectory of dumped Trump deputies. Jeff Sessions, a proto-Trump and the first senator to endorse the mogul, became attorney general and ideological incubator of the new Right’s agenda only to become persona non grata in the administration. The formal execution came later. Bannon followed a less dramatic, but no less explosive ebb and flow. James Mattis walked on water until he didn’t.
And Bolton appeared the leading light of a neoconservative revival, of sorts, until he didn’t.
And while the overall market yawned at the news, oil quickly dropped as the odds of an Iran war tumbled now that the most aggressive neocon is out.
So has Trump finally learned not to surround himself with belligerent war advocates? The answer will be disclosed when Trump reveals who Bolton's replacement as National Security Advisor will be.
Within hours of his firing by President Donald Trump, the hawkish national security adviser John Bolton was embraced by mainstream media outlets and even some Democrats, even if only as an excuse to criticize the White House.
Trump announced Bolton’s ouster via Twitter on Tuesday morning, stunning even those in Washington who have reported on the possibility of such a move for months. As the shock wore off, however, reporters and lawmakers figured they would offer their thoughts – which, unsurprisingly, went along the usual lines.
“Can't wait for the Resistance, led by Maddow & O'Donnell & Hayes, to embrace John Bolton as their hero,”quipped commentator George Szamuely. While the trio he named have so far been silent, their colleague “Morning Joe” Scarborough chimed in along those very lines.
John Bolton has been fiercely critical of Putin and North Korea for years. A quick Google search before his hiring would have revealed those stark differences. Bolton as Trump’s NSA never made sense because Bolton has never been cozy with those who count Americans as their enemy. https://twitter.com/jonlemire/status/1171454433705639936 …
“John Bolton has been fiercely critical of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and North Korea for years,” he tweeted, adding that it never made sense for Bolton to work for Trump, because he “has never been cozy with those who count Americans as their enemy.”
Maggie Haberman of the New York Times and Oliver Darcy of CNN raced each other to present Bolton as someone who “felt uncomfortable defending” the administration on various issues, from tariffs to – of course – Russia.
Have similar reporting - West Wing officials said Bolton didn’t want to defend Trump on Russia being readmitted to G7. People close to Bolton insisted it was because he didn’t want to be the front person talking about tariffs, per multiple sources, which made little sense. https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1171474717737250818 …
“Putin ordered Trump to fire Bolton. Tune in tonight for our all-star FBI/CIA panel!” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted mockingly, alluding to CNN and MSNBC having hired a number of Obama administration spy officials.
To hear the senior Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee say it, Bolton was a valuable counterweight to Trump. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) argued that Trump only appreciated “yes-men” and that Bolton at least “presented counterviews at times.” ...
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
...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.
disagrees with Trump's tweet and he is now texting reporters to say
that he wasn't fired but resigned:
consistent complaint among Trump loyalists & fellow WH officials
is that Bolton and his camp were extremely leaky. Doesn’t help that
he’s texting every reporter in his rolodex now to clarify that he
he did not work long as Trump's NSA Bolton managed to create a lot of
blew up the Hanoi summit with Kim, pushed for airstrikes on Iran,
completely botched the attempted Venezuela coup, undermined the Syria
troop withdrawal, demanded endless war in Afghanistan. And that's
just in the past 9 months. The guy is a total lunatic
published quite a bit about John Bolton. Here is a short selection: