Bolton Out as National Security Advisor

 

President Trump has fired his national security advisor, John Bolton.

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, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.

Update:

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  1. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    Too bad. I like John Bolton. But Trump’s the boss so he gets to choose his staff. 

    • #1
  2. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Too bad. I like John Bolton. But Trump’s the boss so he gets to choose his staff.

    Yeah, of course now all the people who told us how dangerous Bolton was will find ways to praise him because . . . Trump.

    • #2
  3. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    TwitBot,

    As Trump didn’t mention the actual suggestions that Bolton made that got him fired, I really don’t know what this means. Maybe Bolton was too hot and McMaster was too cold (this is the three bears analogy except it involves orangey locks, not goldy locks).

    Hopefully, Trump has got somebody who is ‘just right’ in mind.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #3
  4. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    I also liked Bolton, and I suspect I probably agree with him more than I do with the President. We have weakness at the top of our defense establishment right now, and I’d like to see that addressed promptly, before something ugly happens and we feel the lack of serious people.

    • #4
  5. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Vance Richards

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Too bad. I like John Bolton. But Trump’s the boss so he gets to choose his staff.

    Yeah, of course now all the people who told us how dangerous Bolton was will find ways to praise him because . . . Trump.

    It is quite the Sophie’s dilemma for the press. They’ve spent years talking about how awful Bolton is, is it worth saying something good about him in order to criticize Trump, when there will be another issue to harp on tomorrow? Of course, they’ll knock Trump, even if it means a momentary bit of praise for JB.  

    • #5
  6. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    That’s terrible.  All of the isolationist types hate him, but Bolton is a smart informative guy who could have done well in many different government positions.  Maybe he needed to be a position not so close to Trump.

    I can’t imagine who Trump will get to replace him.  Dan Coats?

    • #6
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I suspect Bolton was opposed to key positions Trump was keen on.  If you can’t implement the President’s agenda, the proper thing to do is step down.

    • #7
  8. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    Hopefully, Trump has got somebody who is ‘just right’ in mind.

    Just right? You mean someone who will kiss up to him and always tell him what a stable genius he is. I think the problem lies more with Trump than with any of his advisers. I mean I’m pretty sure no sane adviser would have suggested inviting the  Taliban over for tea at Camp David.  That’s all stable genius stuff. 

    I just hope Bolton has some juicy dirt and gossip to give us. If we are to have the Trump show. Let it at least be an entertaining spectacle. 

    Also I don’t see what the press’ dilemma should be in all of this. The narrative of Trump running a dysfunctional chaotic administration is just further substantiated by this increased  turn over in his staff. You don’t need to praise Bolton one bit to point out that Trump can’ function with anyone. Because he is an unstable moron.

    • #8
  9. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Too bad. I like John Bolton. But Trump’s the boss so he gets to choose his staff.

    Yeah, of course now all the people who told us how dangerous Bolton was will find ways to praise him because . . . Trump.

    And, to be fair, there are going to be people ‘on our side’ that will bash Bolton because he’s out of Trump’s good graces. 

    Bolton was a hardliner. I saw he and Tucker Carlson get into it (I like both and could see both view points) – it’s tough to make a good/great choice off a menu of bad options. 

    Hope it works out and I wish John Bolton well – now, if he starts working at CNN or writing at the Bulwark…?

    • #9
  10. Mendel Member
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    Yeah, of course now all the people who told us how dangerous Bolton was will find ways to praise him because . . . Trump.

    I’ve never been a fan of Bolton’s and my opinion of Trump has been lukewarm at best, and I think Trump deserves a lot of credit at the moment.

    Specifically, for taking the chance of hiring somebody he could expect to disagree with, (presumably) standing his ground once those disagreements arose, and then dismissing Bolton in a respectful manner and not by hounding him out or firing him by Twitter.

    And bonus brownie points for a Tweet that was polite but didn’t shy away from admitting that Bolton was leaving due to disagreements.

    • #10
  11. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    WI Con (View Comment):
    Hope it works out and I wish John Bolton well – now, if he starts working at CNN or writing at the Bulwark…?

    I would be very surprised. I expect him to be more like Mattis. And I hope he remains active in public affairs. I’ve always liked Bolton and appreciated his straightforward style.

    • #11
  12. The Gold Tooth Member
    The Gold Tooth
    @TheGoldTooth

    Four natsec advisors in less than three years (assuming a new one is approved before January). Yes, the Trump administration is certainly a well-oiled machine. The best people, remember, and so loyal!

    • #12
  13. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    The Gold Tooth (View Comment):

    Four natsec advisors in less than three years (assuming a new one is approved before January). Yes, the Trump administration is certainly a well-oiled machine. The best people, remember, and so loyal!

    It’s certainly a different style, isn’t it?

    Of course, the measure of an administration isn’t — shouldn’t be, anyway — the staffing metrics, but rather the results it achieves. For example, a bad visit to the dentist’s office is hardly ameliorated by the observation that the receptionist has been there since dirt; and a wonderful experience in oral care is not lessened by high turnover at the front desk.

    As always with this President, it’s the outcome that matters. I know the show is entertaining, and offers lots of opportunities to mock and insult; I don’t like the show either. But I ignore most of it, and pay attention to the results.

    • #13
  14. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    I mean I’m pretty sure no sane adviser would have suggested inviting the Taliban over for tea at Camp David.

    If you are going to have negotiations then they are among those you are going to have to negotiate with.

    I am sure the Israelies had the same qualms about the Palestinian Authority – not to mention the Brits v the IRA.

    • #14
  15. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Mendel (View Comment):
    And bonus brownie points for a Tweet that was polite but didn’t shy away from admitting that Bolton was leaving due to disagreements.

    What a low bar to clear. The soft bigotry of low expectations. Apparently Bolton is telling Fox News he quite first before he was fired. I expect that Trump will make some nasty tweet about Bolton in 24 hours. I’m giddy with excitement at the forthcoming freak show this will generate. How many other stupid ideas like bringing the Taliban over has Trump proposed, that people like Bolton have had to find a way to scuttle?  

    • #15
  16. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    I also thought the Taliban negotiation idea was foolish — whoever suggested it — and was glad to see the meeting canceled.

    • #16
  17. B. W. Wooster Member
    B. W. Wooster
    @HenryV

    One thing is clear – the best ‘stach in all of DC can’t be replaced so easily.  

    • #17
  18. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    I’m pretty sure no sane adviser would have suggested inviting the Taliban over for tea at Camp David. That’s all stable genius stuff.

    What evidence do you have that the Taliban was invited to Camp David for teatime? Did a white rabbit tell you that?

    Also I don’t see what the press’ dilemma should be in all of this. The narrative of Trump running a dysfunctional chaotic administration is just further substantiated by this increased turn over in his staff. You don’t need to praise Bolton one bit to point out that Trump can’ function with anyone. Because he is an unstable moron.

    I doubt that Trump has more turnover than other administrations. I really do. Reagan had 6 national security advisors, for instance. And Obama had 5 chiefs of staff. I think turnover is very normal in an administration. The media is just framing it in a certain way, and since you hate Trump you are going along with the narrative.

    • #18
  19. danok1 Member
    danok1
    @danok1

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    I mean I’m pretty sure no sane adviser would have suggested inviting the Taliban over for tea at Camp David.

    If you are going to have negotiations then they are among those you are going to have to negotiate with.

    I am sure the Israelies had the same qualms about the Palestinian Authority – not to mention the Brits v the IRA.

    Quite true. Our choices are, broadly speaking:

    A. Fight the war in Afghanistan to win; that is, utterly destroy the Taliban and its allies.

    B. Withdraw from Afghanistan and leave the current Afghan government a fighting chance.

    If we’re not going to fight to win (and there doesn’t seem to be an appetite for this, not after 18 years), then we need to talk with the various factions. We don’t have to like this, but we do have to do it.

    • #19
  20. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge
    Jeff Hawkins
    @JeffHawkins

    Trump’s foreign policy has become feckless because people know that he doesn’t want the negativity of a non-isolationist policy nor the the criticism of causing thousand of deaths.

    Whereas Obama placated evil, Trump thinks he can outwit them when the answer is to destroy them.

    “I’ll meet with the Taliban” as if he’s going to take them to a strip club, get them to embrace Western capitalism and “close” on this deal after 2 martinis make their judgment suspect.

    the least Trump could have done was withdraw from the UN before firing Bolton.

    • #20
  21. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Ricochet Twitter Bot: Update:

    Trump has a Democrat’s relationship with truth. He seems to be honest only when it’s convenient. Lies are always a strategic option. 

    I liked Bolton. Whether or not he is in charge of anything, it’s foolish not to keep him on as an advisor.

    I hope Bolton will again write articles about national security for syndication, assuming Trump doesn’t require NDAs of staff about info beyond classified reports. 

    • #21
  22. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    Surprised Trump appointed Bolton.  Surprised he lasted this long. 

    • #22
  23. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge
    JuliaBlaschke
    @JuliaBlaschke

    danok1 (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    I mean I’m pretty sure no sane adviser would have suggested inviting the Taliban over for tea at Camp David.

    If you are going to have negotiations then they are among those you are going to have to negotiate with.

    I am sure the Israelies had the same qualms about the Palestinian Authority – not to mention the Brits v the IRA.

    Quite true. Our choices are, broadly speaking:

    A. Fight the war in Afghanistan to win; that is, utterly destroy the Taliban and its allies.

    B. Withdraw from Afghanistan and leave the current Afghan government a fighting chance.

    If we’re not going to fight to win (and there doesn’t seem to be an appetite for this, not after 18 years), then we need to talk with the various factions. We don’t have to like this, but we do have to do it.

    In order to achieve A. I believe something would have to be done about Pakistan. No matter how many Taliban are killed there seems to be an endless resupply of them over that border. Pakistan could probably put an end to the Taliban but they harbored Bin Laden so that ain’t happening. 

    Don’t really see the point in talking to the Taliban without doing something about Pakistan.

    Sometimes you cannot not talk to groups like the Taliban. 

    • #23
  24. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Best Tweet I have seen about this is . . . 

    • #24
  25. The Gold Tooth Member
    The Gold Tooth
    @TheGoldTooth

    • #25
  26. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    I suppose we’re going to find out in the next couple of weeks what the issue was that caused Trump and/or Bolton to reach the point of no return. If it’s over negotiations with the Taliban (or if Trump thinks Bolton was the one who leaked the information about the planned Camp David meeting to the media in order to kill it), then Trump will be faced with owning whatever happens going forward, if he opts simply to put a deal with the Taliban on the back burner for a few months, instead of scuttling it completely after the suicide bombing that killed the U.S. solider and a dozen others.

    • #26
  27. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    B. W. Wooster (View Comment):

    One thing is clear – the best ‘stach in all of DC can’t be replaced so easily.

    That’s the truth.

    About twenty years ago (if memory serves), Jeff Goldstein, the occasionally brilliant, often hilarious blogger of Protein Wisdom fame, credited John Bolton’s mustache, which Goldstein christened “Regis,” with all of Bolton’s formidable intimidation power. (e.g., see here) I have never had reason to doubt Goldstein’s perspicacity on this issue.

    • #27
  28. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    This does make me a bit nervous.  I found the presence of Mattis and Bolton at the top very reassuring, from a national security standpoint.

    The presence of Pompeo at State keeps me from real worry, at present.

    • #28
  29. Man With the Axe Member
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    Trump may be the boss, but one aspect of the rationale for voting for him was that he would surround himself with great advisors and take their advice. 

    He appointed some great people, refused to take their advice, and virtually all of them are gone. Pompeo remains. I guess he, like his predecessor, is a better national security advisor than his national security advisor, and a better secretary of defense than his secretary of defense, and so on. 

    • #29
  30. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    The Gold Tooth (View Comment):

    At 31 months into his presidency, Obama had had:

    • 2 Secretaries of Defense 
    • 2 CIA directors, 1 acting
    • 2 chiefs of staff
    • 2 directors of National Intelligence, 1 acting
    • 3 chiefs of the council of economic advisors
    • 2 OMB directors
    • 2 acting secretaries of commerce, 1 actual secretary, and at the 31 month period, no confirmed secretary in office

     

    • #30

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