Tuesday, President Trump sacked John Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser with whom he had significant disagreements on Iran, Afghanistan and a number of other global challenges.
“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,” President Trump Tweeted mid-day Tuesday, adding that he would name a replacement next week.
President Trump and NSA Bolton had disagreed on “many, many issues,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said.
Charlie Kupperman, the deputy national security adviser, will assume Mr. Bolton’s position on an acting basis, deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said.
Since joining the administration in the Spring of last year, Mr. Bolton has espoused skepticism about the president’s whirlwind rapprochement with NKorea and has advocated against President Trump’s decision last year to pull US troops out of Syria. He masterminded a quiet campaign inside the administration and with allies abroad to persuade President Trump to keep US forces in Syria to counter the remnants of the Islamic State and Iranian influence in the region.
Mr. Bolton was also opposed to President Trump’s plan to bring Taliban negotiators to Camp David last weekend to try to finalize a peace deal in Afghanistan.
Over the last few month tensions have risen between Mr. Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over influence in the President’s circle and how to manage the President’s desire to negotiate with some of the world’s most unsavory actors.
Mr. Bolton’s sacking came as a surprise to many in the White House, as just an hour before President Trump’s Tweet, the press office announced that Mr. Bolton would join Secretary of State Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin in a briefing. A White House official said that Mr. Bolton had departed the premises after President Trump’s Tweet and would no longer appear as scheduled.
Longtime national security expert Fred Fleitz, President/CEO of the conservative Center for Security Policy think tank, has an inside track to replace outgoing National Security Adviser John Bolton, according to informed sources familiar with the situation.