John Bolton Out as Trump’s National Security Advisor

John Bolton Out as Trump’s National Security Advisor

John Bolton is out as National Security Advisor.

President Trump announced late Tuesday morning that he had asked Bolton for his resignation last night:

The firing came as such a surprise that despite the president apparently asking Bolton for his resignation on Monday night, the White House press office on Tuesday morning that Bolton would participate in a national security briefing for the press at 1:30 this afternoon.

Or perhaps it took even Bolton himself by surprise. The now-former NSA tweeted this a few mintues after Trump tweeted he had resigned:

Bolton apparently has been texting reporters to make it clear he resigned. Which does not mean Trump did not ask him to do so:

The spin war continued later, as White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham released this statement to The Daily Beast:

Last night, Potus said he wanted Boltons resignation on his desk tomorrow AM. Bolton delivered it. Simply put, many of Bolton’s policy priorities did not align w POTUS

Bolton responded that Grisham’s statement “is flatly incorrect.” He told ABC’s Jonathan Karl something similar:

Bolton became National Security Advisor in April of 2018. He spent much of his tenure at odds with Trump, mostly due to his hawkish instincts on both Iran and North Korea. Bolton has long advocated military action against both nations to curb their nuclear programs, which Trump, for all his chest-thumping, has resisted.

Bolton also reportedly clashed often with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who worked to align himself much more with Trump’s views.

Bolton deputy Charlie Kupperman was named the Acting National Security Advisor. He is the fifth NSA of Trump’s two and a half years in office.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.