John Bolton is out as national security adviser. He and Trump disagree about who made this decision.
John Bolton, Trump's third national security adviser, is out of a job. That much is all the two seem to agree on.
"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," the president claimed.
As the Los Angeles Times' Eli Stokols noted, this claim was contradicted by the fact that his administration had only minutes before announced that Bolton would participate in an afternoon press briefing along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
Right on cue, Bolton tweeted minutes later that Trump was lying.
"I offered to resign last night," he claimed, "and President Trump said, 'Let's talk about it tomorrow.'"
I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, "Let's talk about it tomorrow."
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) September 10, 2019
CNN reported that the issue stemmed from Trump's aborted plan to host Taliban leaders for Camp David meetings.
Bolton clarified to the New York Times that he had offered his resignation on Monday night to Trump "without his asking." At the president's request, he said, he "slept on it" and resigned this morning.
This is not an unusual move for Trump. In late 2018, then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis resigned his position with a letter sharply criticizing the Trump administration's policies. Days later, Trump tried to spin the departure saying that he had "essentially" fired the four-star general.
Multiple high-profile candidates to replace Mattis declined after seeing how the former defense secretary had been treated.
Hardliner Bolton served in various roles in previous Republican administrations and once famously suggested that there would be no harm if the United Nations building in New York “lost 10 stories," a jab at its effectiveness.
"[...] It wouldn’t make a bit of difference," he said at the time.
Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD), a member of the House Armed Services committee, summed up his thoughts on the latest Trump administration failure on Tuesday.
"Trump's chaotic and incompetent foreign policy and the complete breakdown of national security decision-making process - is making the United States less safe and putting Americans at risk," he tweeted.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.