President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that John Bolton will no longer occupy the position of national security adviser, a post he had served since April 2018. Bolton was Trump’s third national security adviser, preceded by H.R. McMaster and Michael Flynn.
….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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2019
President Trump backed his decision to fire Bolton by alleged disagreements between the two, as well as “others in the administration.” The news of Bolton’s departure adds yet another high profile ousting in an already fluid and record rate of turnover at the White House under this administration.
But John Bolton sees it differently, issuing a tweet of his own just moments after the President’s, asserting that he (Bolton) had actually offered his resignation last night, to which Trump allegedly responded, “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
Bolton is also reportedly texting numerous reporters that he offered to resign last night, telling the Washington Post’s Robert Costa, “let’s be clear, I resigned, having offered to do so last night,” and the New York Times’ Peter Baker, “offered [resignation] last night without his asking. Slept on it and gave it to him this morning.”
The administration’s communications staff also contradicted the story that Bolton’s departure was worked out last night, as the White House had just announced a press briefing featuring John Bolton, secretary of state Mike Pompeo and secretary of the treasury Steve Mnuchin. CNN’s Jeremy Diamond also reports that the firing was very similar to that of James Comey, in that the former national security adviser led a committee meeting just this morning, an hour before the President’s tweet.
Hogan Gidley, the White House spokesperson, appeared on Fox News after the Bolton news broke to reiterate the stance that Bolton was indeed fired by the President, via Trump’s asking for Bolton’s resignation and that the White House was in the process of finding a replacement.
Bolton, who has mostly found himself in the complimentary good graces of the President, has been in the middle of a more rigid relationship lately. Often labeled a “war hawk” by opponents and critics alike, according to reporting from the Washington Post, the pair have found themselves at odds over a potential Middle East peace deal, for which Trump reportedly had Bolton sidelined. Bolton also voiced his disagreement with Trump planning to host members of the Taliban at Camp David.
NBC News reports that deputy national security adviser Charlie Kupperman will serve as acting national security adviser for the immediate future.