President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he dismissed national security adviser John Bolton from the administration on Monday night.
“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” Trump tweeted. “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.”
Bolton came out and offered a different account of what happened, tweeting: “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.'”
Bolton reportedly told Washington Post reporter Robert Costa: “Let’s be clear, I resigned, having offered to do so last night.”
The Washington Post noted that key details in the president’s statement about Bolton do not add up.
“But just an hour before the announcement, the White House announced that Bolton would be appearing at a 1:30 p.m. Eastern time news conference alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin,” The Post reported. “It seems unlikely Bolton would agree to show up after effectively being fired. If Bolton was on his way out as of Monday night, why did the White House press office not seem to know about it at 11 a.m. Tuesday morning?”
The news comes after Trump planned on meeting with the Taliban, which was ultimately canceled after Bolton and others protested, in an attempt to secure a peace deal in Afghanistan.
“The idea raised Sept. 1 during a Situation Room meeting with the president was vehemently opposed by national security adviser John Bolton, even as officials at the State Department argued it could move the parties closer to an agreement,” NBC News reported. “Bolton had an ally in Vice President Mike Pence, who also made the case against a meeting at Camp David, a location Trump suggested.”
“Trump’s impromptu plan to invite leaders of the Afghan insurgent group to the presidential retreat at the same time as the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks set off heated deliberations last week between the members of his national security team, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo supporting the move and National Security Advisor John Bolton arguing against it,” Foreign Policy reported. “The internal discussions leading up to the president’s last-minute decision to scrap the meeting this weekend shed light on the evolving dynamic among the members of Trump’s national security team since Defense Secretary Mark Esper was confirmed to the top Pentagon job in July.”
The New York Times added the following details, “But if Mr. Trump’s original national security team was seen as restraining a mercurial new commander in chief, the president found himself sometimes restraining Mr. Bolton. Behind the scenes, he joked about Mr. Bolton’s penchant for confrontation. “If it was up to John, we’d be in four wars now,” one senior official recalled the president saying. Mr. Trump also grew disenchanted with Mr. Bolton over the failed effort to push out President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela.”