WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he is firing his National Security Adviser, John Bolton, after a year and a half on the job. Trump wrote on his Twitter account that the two had disagreements over policy questions, and therefore he informed Bolton "that his services are no longer needed at the White House."
Trump added: "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 was considered the most hawkish among Trump's senior advisers, especially with regards to Iran. By firing him, Trump is moving aside the one person in his administration who would have likely opposed any kind of negotiations with the regime in Tehran.
>> Read more: No talks, no war: For some Washington hawks, one Iran strategy remains | Analysis ■ Aborted U.S. attack exposes fatal flaw in Netanyahu’s Iran strategy: Trump’s problematic personality | Analysis
….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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2019
Trump wrote that he "disagreed strongly with many of his (Bolton's) suggestions, as did others in the Administration."
Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif constantly referred to Bolton as one of the "three B's" – three people who according to Zarif are pushing Trump towards war with Iran, and whose names begin with the letter B: Bolton, Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman.
Bolton was considered one of the closest people in the Trump administration to Netanyahu and to Israeli ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer.
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He shared Netanyahu's views regarding Iran, and was involved in the recent discussions between Israeli and American officials about some form of "gesture" from the Trump administration to Netanyahu ahead of the Israeli election next week.
I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, "Let's talk about it tomorrow."
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) September 10, 2019
In May, the New York Times published quotes by a long time aide to Bolton who claimed he secretly reviled the President, signalling to tensions in the working relationship between the two.
The article by Dexter Filkins quoted Mark Groombridge, who worked with Bolton for 15 years and advised him while Bolton served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, including a comment where he called Trump a "moron."
“John is thinking, 'To the extent I can modify or mollify the President’s actions, I will,'” Groombridge argued. “He is truly a patriot. But I wonder how he goes into work every day, because deep in his heart he believes the president is a moron.”
Given that "Trump does not want war," the diplomat argued Bolton must have had to work hard to convince Trump to hire him, saying "to get the job, Bolton had to cut his balls off and put them on Trump's desk."