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Trump Fires John Bolton as National Security Adviser Because He 'Disagreed' Too Much with Him

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Trump Fires John Bolton as National Security Adviser Because He 'Disagreed' Too Much with Him

2019-09-10 17:30:591 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: John Bolton (Image source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)

 

There is just no way to look at losing the country's third national security adviser within Donald Trump's office as something positive. While it may be nice for Trump that he doesn't have to face having someone disagree with him, in the long run, while it may not be so bad for Bolton, it's not good for Trump, and it's definitely not good for the country's national security.

 

In truth, Trump didn't have much to do with losing his first national security adviser. Michael Flynn was forced out of office just days after Trump took office when it was learned he lied to Vice President Mike Pence and the FBI regarding his Trump Tower meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to discuss former President Barack Obama's sanctions on Russia. 

According to former FBI director James Comey, Trump asked him to go easy on Flynn, but he was pushed out anyway, taking a plea deal in December of that year for lying to the FBI. He was cooperating with investigators but has declined to cooperate with House Democrats on their investigation. He will be sentenced on December 18.

 

Flynn was replaced by H.R. McMaster, a lieutenant general in the U.S. Army. He didn't get on too well with others in the administration, accused of not being conservative enough. He also firmly stated that Russia did interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and one month later he was forced out of office. 

Bolton stepped up to take the national security adviser position a few weeks later. He'd previously been in the U.S. Army and the Maryland Army National Guard before becoming U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under former President George W. Bush.

 

Even before he became Trump's third national security officer, Bolton was known for pushing for a regime change in Iran. In office just one day, he started emptying the offices of the Homeland Security adviser and several National Security Council employees. 

Currently, there's a great need for a national security adviser. Trump has been at odds with the leaders in Iran since he pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran and a handful of other countries.

 

Additionally, Trump is trying to make a deal with the Taliban and took a lot of heat for inviting them as well as Afghanistan leaders to a meeting at Camp David. He announced this weekend that he'd canceled the meeting after learning the Taliban took responsibility for an attack in Kabul that killed one U.S. service person and 11 others. 

On Tuesday Trump announced via tweet that Bolton had been relieved of his duties because he "disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions."

 

However, in what may ultimately be their last disagreement, the president and his former adviser differ on whether Trump fired him or whether Bolton left voluntarily. 

"I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House," Trump tweeted. "I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service."

 

He added that he would name his replacement, meaning his fourth national security adviser, next week. 

"Let's be clear, I resigned, having offered to do so last night," Bolton told The Washington Post in a text. "I will have my say in due course. But I have given you the facts on the resignation. My sole concern is U.S. national security."

 

This is where you can see how the whole thing played out. For Trump it's important that he has someone on the job who agrees with him. For Bolton it's important that he keep the country safe. 

"I offered to resign last night, and President Trump said, 'Let's talk about it tomorrow," Bolton further said on Twitter.

 

He had been scheduled to appear with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a briefing at the White House later on Tuesday, with Trump's announcement that he'd been fired coming less than two hours before that briefing occurred. 

"The president's entitled to the staff that he wants at any moment," Pompeo said at the briefing. "He should have people that he trusts and values."

 

"Our mission set is not to talk about these inner workings and the palace intrigue that I know you are so curious about but rather to talk about the things that matter to American foreign policy," continued Pompeo after acknowledging his and Bolton's differences that had become more tense recently. 

Bolton was against the Taliban peace deal, an agreement that was negotiated by Pompeo's State Department. Yet ultimately, Trump called the deal dead on Monday.

 

Bolton also didn't like Trump's meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to administration officials, didn't believe Trump should meet directly with Iranian officials, and didn't agree with Trump that Russia should rejoin the G-7. 

While Trump's congressional allies praised him for removing Bolton, Democrats jumped on it to show what Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said was Trump's "government-by-chaos approach and his rudderless national security policy.

 

He especially noted that "when Ambassador Bolton's extreme views aren't enough for you, the United States is headed for even more chaotic times." 

And that's what it all comes down to. Again, ultimately this isn't a good move for anyone except possibly Bolton in the long run.

 

He's determined to have his due, and he'll join the multiple other past officials who have gone on to either speak against Trump or write a book about his experience.  

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was in office just 11 days and is currently working to be sure Trump is not reelected next year. Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis wrote a book about his experiences in the White House, as did his speechwriter.

 

Trump definitely has a lot to lose at this point. There probably aren't many people eager to take on the national security adviser position at this point unless they're just looking for their own fame and fortune and aren't necessarily looking to help the country.  

Who would want to be number four with the current problems of Iran, Afghanistan, Taliban, North Korea, etc., that need to be sorted out?

 

And that leaves the country as the biggest loser. The country is getting by without the officials, aides, and advisers it needs, just because Trump is more concerned about only keeping people who will agree with him.  

It seems all this does is put a giant national security target on the United States, letting nefarious individuals and governments know that  all you have to do is come in and agree with Trump and soothe his ego, and they'll be able to take what they want and get the president to agree.

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