Ongoing tensions lead to Trump firing Bolton as national security advisor

The two disagreed on a number of matters regarding Iran, North Korea and other foreign-policy issues.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. Credit: Michael Vadon via Flickr.
U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. Credit: Michael Vadon via Flickr.

U.S. President Donald Trump fired National Security Advisor John Bolton on Tuesday amid disagreements regarding Iran, North Korea and other foreign-policy issues.

“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,” tweeted the president.

Bolton tweeted, “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, “Let’s talk about it tomorrow.”

He reportedly clashed personally with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, although the two agreed on most official matters.

Bolton played a crucial role in furthering the Trump administration’s since he replaced Gen. H.R. McMaster in one of the top White House positions on April 9, 2018.

During his tenure, America relocated its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, reimposing sanctions lifted under it, along with enacting new financial penalties against the regime; shuttered the Palestine Liberation Organization Diplomatic Mission in Washington, D.C.; merged the U.S. consulate general in Jerusalem with the embassy; recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights; and designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group.

Deputy National Security Advisor Charles Kupperman will serve in the interim, announced White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley. Kupperman was named as Bolton’s deputy earlier this year.

“Charlie Kupperman has been an adviser to me for more than 30 years, including during my tenure as National Security Advisor to President Trump,” Bolton said in a statement at the time. “Charlie’s extensive expertise in defense, arms control and aerospace will help further President Trump’s national-security agenda.”

‘A huge loss for the administration and the nation’

Reactions from Capitol Hill poured in following Trump’s announcement.

“I think the view that there’s some public discussions about Bolton being on the other side of meeting with the Taliban probably was a bridge too far,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters. “I don’t know what happened there.”

The Trump administration broke off scheduled talks this week with the Taliban at Camp David in Maryland as part of talks over the past 10 months to end the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Both sides of the political aisle criticized the attempted summit, especially on the week of the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The Taliban is allied with Al-Qaeda, which was responsible for being behind the 2001 tragedy.

“I’m very, very unhappy to hear that he is leaving,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah). “It’s a huge loss for the administration and for the nation.”

When asked who should succeed Bolton, Romney replied: “John Bolton.”

“I commend @realDonaldTrump for this necessary action. The President has great instincts on foreign policy and ending our endless wars. He should be served by those who share those views,” tweeted Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

“There’s more chaos at the White House when you’ve had more national security advisors than you’ve had years in the White House,” Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) told JNS on Tuesday afternoon. “It suggests why we may seem to lack a strategy when it comes to much of anything whether it’s China or Russia or the Middle East.”

House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) simultaneously expressed support and concern surrounding the president’s move.

“While I am relieved that John Bolton will no longer be at the president’s ear, I continue to be deeply concerned by the chaos and dysfunction of this White House when it comes to national security and foreign affairs,” he said in a statement. “Whoever replaces Mr. Bolton ought to be someone who approaches our national security challenges with strategy and care, someone who understands the importance of working closely with the Congress, and someone who isn’t afraid to say ‘no’ to the president when he is wrong.

“The fact that our government continues to function amid the confusion, the disorder, and the objectionable policies of this president and his advisers is a testament to the hard work, skill and professionalism of our career federal employees, who work every day under tough conditions to keep America safe,” he continued. “I thank them all for their service to the American people, needed more now than at any time in recent memory.”

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