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Other than the old mantra of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”, I never understood President Trump’s hiring of John Bolton.
But now, finally, he has been terminated.
Essentially kicked to the curb.
Fired in unceremonious fashion by Facebook post, in which President Trump makes very clear he disagrees with Bolton’s advice and does not want him anywhere around!
Take a look:
If you can't read that, it says:
I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. 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. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.
Now, in an unapologetic excuse to play my favorite Trump clip of all time, I present to you how I imagine it went behind the scenes:
Here's what CNN had to say:
President Donald Trump abruptly announced Tuesday that he has asked national security adviser John Bolton to resign, noting that he "strongly disagreed with many" of Bolton's suggestions "as did others in the administration."
"I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. 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," Trump tweeted. "I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week," he added.
The tweet came just one hour after the White House press office said Bolton was scheduled to appear at a Tuesday press briefing alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
Bolton tweeted minutes after Trump's announcement, "I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, 'Let's talk about it tomorrow.'"
Bolton reiterated the point that it was he who offered to resign on Fox News Tuesday.
Bolton's ouster was so sudden that the now-former National Security Adviser even led a meeting of top administration officials, known as a principals committee meeting, Tuesday morning prior to Trump's tweet, a source familiar told CNN.
The source said the meeting went on as planned and there was no indication that Bolton's firing was imminent.
Trump was irked by reports that he had faced internal pushback from Bolton over his decision to host leaders of the Taliban at Camp David, multiple people familiar with his frustration say. The President announced the plans for the meeting were canceled on Saturday.
Bolton and Trump got into a heated argument Monday night over the President's plan to host Taliban leaders at Camp David and did not back down, two people familiar with what happened said.
One of the factors that prompted Trump to fire Bolton was the concern inside the White House that Bolton's aides were making it sound as though Vice President Mike Pence had opposed the Taliban meeting at Camp David, according to two senior administration officials. One official pointed to Pence's tweet saying he would have supported such a move.
Writing on the wall
CNN reported last week that tensions between top figures on Trump's national security team had devolved into all-out hostility, creating a deep disconnect between staffers on the National Security Council, led by Bolton, and the rest of the administration, six people familiar with the matter said.
Bolton was initially brought into the administration last year to replace HR McMaster partly due to his hawkish position on Iran -- supporting Trump's exit from the Iran nuclear deal -- but he soon began to clash with the President's vision for diplomacy in North Korea and most recently on Afghanistan.
The campaign by Trump allies to push Bolton out of the administration had ramped up in recent weeks, multiple sources told CNN.
The President had received multiple phone calls and appeals to replace Bolton with someone who agreed with him more and was willing to follow through with his decisions when he didn't. This was something Trump heard since he hired Bolton — but people noticed the President's frustration with him was growing in recent weeks so they upped the pressure.
A senior administration official echoed that sentiment, telling CNN that Trump has been getting more and more irritated with Bolton over the past several months for his statements on Iran, Venezuela and now Afghanistan.