Iran says Bolton pick as national security adviser 'matter of shame'

Marsha Scott
March 26, 2018

In Bolton's White House meeting with Trump on Thursday, hours before the president announced the pick, the former United Nations ambassador told Trump he would separate his personal opinions from his responsibility as national security adviser to present all sides and arguments to the commander in chief, according to a person familiar with Trump's exchange with Bolton.

Those targeted for removal include officials believed to have been disloyal to President Donald Trump, those who have leaked about the president to the media, his predecessor's team, and those who came in under President Barack Obama.

As Mr. Bolton prepares to replace General McMaster, people briefed by the White House said, the president has told Mr. Bolton that he needs to cut down on leaks, like the disclosure this week that Mr. Trump disregarded his briefing materials in a call with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russian Federation.

Another source said, "He is going to remove nearly all the political [appointees] McMaster brought in".

A second former White House official was more blunt: "Everyone who was there during Obama years should start packing their s**t".

Freedman, who apparently is helping manage Bolton's transition to the NSC, told the magazine that he was not aware of the call.

Freedman disputed that account, saying he was not aware of the Thursday phone call. Trump has told allies he thinks Bolton is "a killer" on television, where Bolton is a frequent face on Fox News. He has been labeled a neoconservative and a war hawk and there is a palpable fear on the left that he will bring the the brink of war and beyond.

Among the officials Bolton's allies are urging him to fire is Nadia Schadlow, now the deputy national security advisor for strategy. "However, if the recent moves to bring in Bolton and Pompeo signal to the North Koreans that they can no longer string the US and others along, it could help with a breakthrough". McMaster is the sixth close adviser or aide to announce a departure in a turbulent six weeks, joining ally Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was unceremoniously fired last week.

More news: Stocks creep lower in Toronto, while United States markets head higher; Loonie up
More news: Ibrahimovic announces LA Galaxy move in most Zlatan way possible
More news: Great Mills High School investigated Snapchat threat a month ago

This file photo shows incoming U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton. When Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster replaced retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn in the job a year ago, McMaster systematically eliminated officials seen as loyal to his predecessor.

An internal investigation into the leak is underway, said a White House official who — like others interviewed about the announcement and the White House shakeup — demanded anonymity to discuss internal matters. How do you feel about Bolton being at the wheel? McMaster is reported to have taken similar precautions in his own time as the National Security Adviser.

His appointment is certain to scramble the White House's preparations for a proposed summit by the end of May between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Bolton, a Yale Law School graduate, served as President George W. Bush's United Nations ambassador as a "recess appointment" due to broad opposition to his confirmation in the Senate.

For a brief period after White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly took over, Bolton was even completely blocked from the Oval Office.

The appointment of Bolton could lead to dramatic changes in the Trump administration's approach to crises around the world, The Washington Post said.

Trump and Bolton have discussed staffing changes since at least last July, when Bolton was offered the job as McMaster's deputy, the position now held by Waddell. It had appeared McMaster's departure was imminent last week — but White House officials insisted the speculation was false. Two sources familiar with the matter said McMaster was going to stay on until early summer.

The move, which was sudden but not unexpected, signals a more confrontational approach in American foreign policy at a time when the USA president faces mounting challenges, including from Iran and North Korea, the New York Times commented.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

Discuss This Article