President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Tuesday that he has fired National Security Advisor John Bolton after many disagreements between the two over how to handle diplomacy regarding North Korea and Iran.
‘Services are no longer needed’
Trump tweeted that he had asked for Bolton’s resignation, which he received Tuesday, after the president had “disagreed with many of his suggestions.”
“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,” Trump 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
Bolton responded in a tweet that he had offered to resign last night, but Trump had told him that they would “talk about it tomorrow.”
The Uber-Hawkish Bolton Was Always a Bad Fit
Bolton became the 27th national security advisor of the United States on April 9, 2018. His selection has been a point of controversy ever since.
A hawk’s hawk, Bolton’s foreign policy views often went against Trump’s “America First” instincts. Whereas Trump has promised to to get America out of endless wars in places like Afghanistan and not to start any new ones, Bolton was always eager to get the U.S. involved in as many overseas conflicts as possible.
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The significance of this moment was not lost on Senator Rand Paul, who shares Trump’s aversion to war.
“I commend @realDonaldTrump for this necessary action,” Paul tweeted. “The President has great instincts on foreign policy and ending our endless wars. He should be served by those who share those views.”
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. https://t.co/XEBwzySxac
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 10, 2019
Bolton Was the Opposite of ‘America First’
While Trump had signaled a willingness to reach out to Iran, North Korea and any problematic states, in the interest of working out diplomatic solutions and avoiding military confrontations, Bolton had a far more aggressive approach. Bolton was always an odd choice for President Trump, who had criticized former President George W. Bush harshly during the 2016 campaign, precisely because he represented the generally pro-war GOP foreign policy establishment as it had existed in the past.
Bolton still defends the wisdom of the Iraq War to this day. It’s surprising he wasn’t fired sooner.
Bolton had also been known to clash with other administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Trump said that he would name a new national security advisor next week.