BREAKING. John Bolton Dismissed As National Security Advisor

U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton delivers a speech at the American Center in Tokyo Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2004. Bolton named North Korea, Iran and Syria among the worst proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, as he called for shipments to the countries and terrorist groups to be monitored more closely. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)


This had been rumored to be a possibility for about a week, but there isn’t anyone in the Trump administration who hasn’t been rumored to face imminent firing. This is the New York Times take and I can’t say I disagree a whole lot:

To his admirers, Mr. Bolton was supposed to be a check on what they feared would be naïve diplomacy, a cleareyed realist who would keep a president without prior experience in foreign affairs from giving away the store to wily adversaries. But Mr. Trump has long complained privately that Mr. Bolton was too willing to get the United States into another war.

The tension between the men was aggravated in recent months by the president’s decisions to call off a planned airstrike on Iran in retaliation for the downing of an American surveillance drone and to meet with Mr. Kim at the Demilitarized Zone and cross over into North Korea.

Mr. Bolton favored the strike on Iran and publicly criticized recent North Korean missile tests that Mr. Trump brushed off. After the president arranged the DMZ meeting with Mr. Kim via a last-minute Twitter message, Mr. Bolton opted not to accompany him and instead proceeded on a previously scheduled trip to Mongolia.

The rift between the president and his national security adviser owed as much to personality as to policy. The president never warmed to him, a dynamic that is often fatal in this White House. Mr. Bolton also clashed with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

At its core, the schism reflected a deep-seated philosophical difference that has characterized the Trump presidency. While given to bellicose language, Mr. Trump came to office deeply skeptical of overseas military adventures and promising negotiations to resolve volatile conflicts. Mr. Bolton, however, has been one of Washington’s most outspoken hawks and unapologetic advocates of American power to defend the country’s interests.

I also think that Bolton is responsible for the schizophrenic policy we’ve adopted in dealing with Venezuela.

One can’t help but feel that the downfall of Bolton was pretty much the same as that of McMaster. Both men, it seemed to me, approached their job as one of being the “adult in the room” who was going to show Trump how smart people did things rather than engaging in a partnership with Trump to help him craft and implement a foreign policy he was comfortable with.

Who’s next? I have no idea but were I the replacement I might travel light and be slow to unpack my stuff.