Trump Dumps McMaster, Hires Bolton as National Security Advisor

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton speaks during CPAC 2018

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton speaks during CPAC 2018

Not only will he influence U.S. policy in Syria and Iraq, but more immediately and more worryingly, his appointment signals a much tougher United States stance against Iran and North Korea.

In the coming days, the United States Foreign policy on China is less likely to upend the administration's current approach, as much as it is to cement it with the Bolton-Pompeo elevation. But anyone who thinks John Bolton will be an "honest broker" probably couldn't tell John Bolton from Yosemite Sam in a police lineup.

And The Diplomat noted that the timing is odd, coming as it does two weeks after Trump accepted an invitation from Kim Jon-un for a historic US-North Korea summit.

"The two have been discussing this for some time". Trump did it anyway.

"Bolton can and will clean house", one former White House official said.

'After thirty-four years of service to our nation, I am requesting retirement from the US Army effective this summer after which I will leave public service. As recently as March 8, the White House was denying reports that McMaster was on his way out, with spokeswoman Sarah Sanders declaring on "Fox & Friends" that "General McMaster's not going anywhere". The feverish speculation about an impending exit sped up the decision for him to depart, the officials said, in part because McMaster believed foreign partners were beginning to doubt his influence. Also, Mattis's military form of realism might have a restraining influence over Trump, and Trump's bluff and bluster might not readily translate into okaying the war-on-all-fronts strategy that Bolton has tended to endorse.

McMaster's departure may have been hastened by leaks emanating from the White House. (Twisting the intelligence to suit policy preferences is another hallmark of Boltonism.) The Republican national security dis-establishment, which includes Trump's new designee to be Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has militarized nonproliferation diplomacy, replacing it with heavier sanctions and confrontational postures based on threats to use force and the ultimate sanction - the use of force. Both Mattis and Kelly angled for McMaster to be replaced.

Yet officials said the president still has genuine respect for McMaster.

Former national security adviser Stephen Hadley, who served as national security adviser for President George W. Bush, said on ABC that Bolton's comments were "a little bit extreme for my taste".

Perhaps what is most important is how America's enemies feel about the pick. He only lasted a year, opting to resign rather than face a Senate confirmation hearing he knew he wouldn't win.

"This deal needs to be abrogated and America must craft a new reality that reflects the actions of the Iranian regime", he wrote. He was spotted entering the West Wing earlier Thursday.

Several sources told CNN that the decision came after months of personal tension between McMaster and Trump. Trump won't care what former Obama advisers and NY editorial writers say about Bolton and Pompeo, but at first glance their policy views appear to contradict many of his own. "I thank General McMaster and his family for their service and wish them the very best", Trump said.

One U.S. official who worked for the State Department when Bolton was at the United Nations said that the assistant secretary of state for worldwide organizations, whose office oversees the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, was in a constant tug-of-war with Bolton and his chief of staff, trying with limited success to rein in Bolton or persuade him to tone down his public comments.

As a regular media commentator Mr Bolton has advocated hardline positions on stopping Pyongyang from developing and using nuclear weapons against the US.

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Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was sacked for lying about contacts with the Russian embassy and has since pleaded guilty for making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. White House officials said he was ousted because he did not tell top advisers, including Vice President Mike Pence, about the full extent of his contacts with Russian officials.

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