Trump Fires National Security Adviser John Bolton

Philosophical differences lead to ouster of controversial hawk.

By Al Perrotta Published on September 10, 2019

National Security Adviser John Bolton has been fired. President Trump announced the news about the longtime controversial firebrand on Twitter.

Trump said he “disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration.” He thanked Bolton for his service. 

Bolton said he had offered his resignation last night, and the President told him “Let’s talk about it tomorrow.” Well, tomorrow arrived and so did his exit. While Bolton is running around saying he resigned and wasn’t fired, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley insists the President asked for Bolton’s resignation and this morning got it. 

Gidley also confirmed philosophical differences were behind the dismissal. Fox News’ John Roberts got the same word from White House officials, reporting “many of Bolton’s priorities and policies did not align with the President’s.”

John Bolton, Hawk

Bolton, a longtime hawk, was appointed in March 2018. He promised to be more of a conduit for opinions in the position, as opposed to being his characteristically opinionated self.  However, you know the story about old dogs and new tricks. Whispers had been floating in recent weeks that Bolton was losing favor with the President. A final straw may have been Bolton’s very vocal opposition to Trump sitting down with Taliban leaders. Bolton also did not like the idea that Trump may speak with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the U.N. later this month.

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Bolton lead the campaign for “maximum pressure” against Iran, which was designed to cripple the country’s economy and possibly bring down the Islamist regime. However, Trump also opened the door to talks. As Times of Israel put it: “Bolton’s exit comes as Trump moves closer to direct talks with Iran after pulling out of the nuclear deal, and likely signals a shift in the administration’s strategy toward a softer line with Tehran.”

Bolton also apparently clashed with the President over Russia, North Korea and Venezuela. (Perhaps they agreed on Sweden?) 

What will be interesting to watch is the media and Democratic reaction to Bolton’s departure, given how hostile the reaction was to his arrival. Meanwhile, it’s certainly hard to imagine the Loudest Mustache in the West remaining silent. 

Who Next?

President Trump says he’ll be naming a new National Security Adviser next week. Fox News reports a couple current staffers close to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are among the names being considered. 

Meanwhile, Trump’s original National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was back in court today. Judge Emmitt Sullivan has given the government two weeks to respond to Flynn’s new lawyer’s claims of “egregious” conduct. Sidney Powell says Robert Mueller’s goons withheld exculpatory evidence from Flynn’s original lawyers, and continue holding crucial evidence.

“There is one thing after the other that exonerates Mr. Flynn in any number of ways.” As Talking Points Memo reports:

She brought up the anti-Trump texts sent by Peter Strzok, an ex-FBI official involved in the Flynn investigation, that weren’t made public until after Flynn’s plea. She also accused the government of withholding until the last minute key details about ex-FBI Director James Comey’s involvement in the Flynn probe. She harped on allegedly withheld evidence showing the Justice Department didn’t believe Flynn to be an agent of Russia — a claim prosecutors have never made in court.

Judge Sullivan was skeptical, noting that Flynn has twice pleaded guilty. Powell told the judge Flynn never would have pleaded guilty in the first place if the government had disclosed the materials Flynn is now demanding. 

Sentencing for Flynn has now been pushed to December 18th. 

Syndicated columnist Phil Kerpen tweeted the thoughts of many.


Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream and co-author, with @JZmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl. And if you aren’t already, please follow The Stream at @Streamdotorg

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