President Trump fires national security adviser John Bolton

US National Security Advisor John Bolton answers journalists questions after his meeting with Belarus President in Minsk on August 29, 2019. (Photo by Sergei GAPON / AFP) (Photo credit should read SERGEI GAPON/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Tuesday he fired national security adviser John Bolton, citing strong disagreements on a number of policy issues.

President Trump tweeted that he told Bolton Monday night his services were no longer needed at the White House and said Bolton submitted his resignation on Tuesday morning. President Trump said that he “disagreed strongly” with many of Bolton’s suggestions, “as did others in the administration.”

Bolton responded in a tweet of his own that he offered to resign Monday “and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.'”

Bolton’s ouster came as a surprise to many in the White House. Just an hour before President Trump’s tweet, the press office announced that Bolton would join Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a briefing.

Bolton was always an unlikely pick to be President Trump’s third national security adviser, with a world view seemingly ill-fit to the president’s isolationist “America First” pronouncements.

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 20: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as National Security Adviser John Bolton listens during a meeting with President of Romania Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House August 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. This is Iohannis’ second visit to the Trump White House and the two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral issues during their meeting. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

He’s espoused hawkish foreign policy views dating back to the Reagan administration and became a household name over his vociferous support for the Iraq War as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under George W. Bush. Bolton even briefly considered running for president in 2016, in part to make the case against the isolationism that President Trump would come to embody.

Inside the administration he advocated caution on the president’s whirlwind rapprochement with North Korea and against President Trump’s decision last year to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. He masterminded a quiet campaign inside the administration and with allies abroad to convince President Trump to keep U.S. forces in Syria to counter the remnants of the Islamic State and Iranian influence in the region.

Bolton was named President Trump’s third national security adviser in April 2018 after the departure of Army Gen. H.R. McMaster.

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