Trump ousts his warmonger
Security chief axed over tough stance on Iran and the Taliban
DONALD Trump has ousted the fiercest foreign policy hawk in his government over his hardline stance on Iran, Afghanistan and North Korea.
National Security Adviser John Bolton, 70, was already sidelined from talks and had cancelled a string of TV interviews.
Yesterday the US President announced on Twitter that he had ‘disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions’ following months of see-sawing American foreign policy.
Senior Republicans said Mr Bolton was particularly dismayed by the White House’s recent diplomatic overtures towards authoritarian regimes. He made no secret that he passionately believes Iran and North Korea are untrustworthy and cannot be relied on.
A veteran of the George W Bush administration, Mr Bolton claimed he offered his resignation to the President – but Mr Trump insisted on Twitter that he had sacked him.
‘I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed,’ the President tweeted. ‘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.’
Even though the West has been repeatedly stunned by Mr Trump’s sabre-rattling on Twitter, the President came to power vowing to pull the US out of foreign conflicts. Mr Trump reportedly complained to aides that Mr Bolton was too ready to plunge the US into war.
In June, Mr Trump overrode Mr Bolton’s advice when he called off an airstrike on Iran in retaliation for shooting down a US surveillance drone. A conciliatory Mr Trump claimed Iran ‘probably made a mistake’.
Mr Bolton had also been sidelined from unsuccessful peace talks with the Taliban – which Mr Trump revealed he had pulled out of this week.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who also clashed with the abrasive Mr Bolton, said last night that world leaders should not expect any change in US foreign policy. A White House spokesman said Mr Bolton’s ‘priorities just don’t line up with the President’s and any sitting president has the right to put someone in that position that can carry out his agenda’.
A source close to Mr Bolton said that while he had been National Security Adviser, ‘there have been no bad deals: Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, China.’
He was the third national security adviser to be ousted by Mr Trump in just three years. Mr Bolton was appointed in April 2018 as the President reportedly wanted to tackle the public perception that retired generals were running US foreign policy.
Described as an ‘American nationalist’, the Right-wing former UN ambassador shared Mr Trump’s belief that US foreign policy should be guided by cold selfinterest rather than protecting democracy and human rights.
Hot-blooded even by the standards of the Trump administration, Mr Bolton has called publicly for regime change in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, Libya and Cuba. Pentagon officials were appalled last year when Mr Bolton asked them for military options for a strike on Iran – after Tehranlinked militants launched an unsuccessful mortar attack on the US embassy in Baghdad.
There were also reports that while the President admired Mr Bolton’s aggressive appearances on Fox News, he wished he would shave off his moustache.