President Trump has ousted national security adviser John Bolton, one of the most hawkish members of his administration. Trump claims he fired Bolton, but Bolton says he first offered to resign. Bolton was a fierce critic of diplomacy within the White House. He opposed negotiations with North Korea, Iran, as well as the Taliban in Afghanistan. Bolton strongly backed Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and openly called for bombing Iran. Bolton was also a key supporter of the attempted U.S.-backed coup in Venezuela and an advocate of regime change in Cuba and Nicaragua. Bolton becomes the third national security adviser to be ousted by Trump so far. In a tweet announcing Bolton’s ouster, Trump wrote, “I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later made a similar comment.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “There were many times Ambassador Bolton and I disagreed, that’s to be sure. But that’s true for lots of, lots of people with whom I interact.”
On Capitol Hill, reaction to John Bolton’s ouster was mixed. Republican Senator Rand Paul said, “The threat of war worldwide goes down exponentially with John Bolton out of the White House.” Meanwhile, Republican Senator Mitt Romney called the news “an extraordinary loss for our nation and the White House.”