WASHINGTON (AP) — The President of the United States, Donald Trump on Tuesday fired John Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser with whom he had significant disagreements on Iran, Afghanistan and a cascade of other global challenges.
After Bolton’s departure the two men have offered opposing accounts on the situation of things.
Trump had tweeted that he told Bolton on Monday night that his services were no longer needed at the White House and Bolton submitted his resignation Tuesday morning. However, Bolton responded in a tweet of his own that he offered to resign Monday “and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.’”
Trump said that he and Bolton had “disagreed strongly” on certain issues.
One Republican familiar with the disagreements between Trump and Bolton said the adviser’s opposition to a possible meeting between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was a precipitating factor in the dismissal. French President Emmanuel Macron has been trying to broker such a meeting, possibly on the sidelines of the upcoming U.N. General Assembly, in the hope of salvaging the international Iran nuclear deal that Trump withdrew from.
Bolton joined the White House as NSA in the spring of last year, and since then he had been skeptical about some of the Presidents decisions. This include his approach with North Korea. Bolton also advocated against Trump’s decision last year to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. He masterminded a quiet campaign inside the administration and with allies abroad to persuade Trump to keep U.S. forces in Syria to counter the remnants of the Islamic State and Iranian influence in the region.
Bolton was also opposed to Trump’s now-scrapped notion to bring Taliban negotiators to Camp David last weekend to try to finalize a peace deal in Afghanistan.
In recent months, tensions have risen between Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over influence in the president’s orbit and how to manage the president’s desire to negotiate with some of the world’s most unsavory actors.
All this and more led to the Presidents decision to let Bolton go, or Bolton’s decision to resign… Whether he was fired or whether he resigned willingly, will remain a thing of debate for now.