Weekend ReadsTrump dismisses John Bolton, says they 'disagreed strongly'
WWII veteran Gordon Bruce Okill Stuart, friend to Prince Philip, dies at 98
That ability to lead, laugh and inspire until the end, is what friends say they will remember about him most. "He was quite a gentleman," noted Bolton, who plans to play the bagpipes at Stuart's funeral on Sept. 6 at the Saint-Lambert United Church. Visitation will be held on Thursday Sept. 5 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Collins Clarke Macgillivray White Funeral Home.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday abruptly forced out John Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser with whom he had strong disagreements on Iran, Afghanistan and a cascade of other global challenges.
The two men even offered opposing accounts on Bolton's less-than-friendly departure, final shots for what had been a fractious relationship almost from the start.
Trump tweeted that he told Bolton Monday night his services were no longer needed at the White House and Bolton submitted his resignation Tuesday morning. Bolton responded in a tweet of his own that he offered to resign Monday "and President Trump said, 'Let's talk about it tomorrow.'"
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Trump said that he had "disagreed strongly" with many of Bolton's suggestions as national security adviser, "as did others in the administration."
The departure comes at a trying moment for the Trump administration on the world stage, weeks ahead of the United Nations General Assembly and as the president faces pressing decisions on a host of foreign policy issues.
Also, as pressure has mounted amid signs of an economic slowdown and growing global troubles, Trump has increasingly favoured aides who are willing to defend him on television. Bolton was tentatively booked to appear on a pair of Sunday talk shows in late August but backed out, saying he was not comfortable with some of the administration's plans, and that drew the president's ire, according to a White House official not authorized to discuss private conversations
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TORONTO — Canada's main stock index inched higher on gains by key commodities sectors despite a dip in crude and gold prices and selloff in technology stocks. Oil prices started the day higher but reversed course after U.S. President Donald Trump announced the firing of John Bolton, his national security adviser. Investors feared the departure of the Iran hawk could result in Trump relaxing waivers or sanctions against the Middle Eastern regime, resulting in increased crude output, said Natalie Taylor, a portfolio manager with CIBC. "It's interesting that energy stocks have remained in positive territory even despite that," she said in an interview.
In recent months, tensions have risen between Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over influence in the president's orbit and how to manage the president's desire to negotiate with some of the world's most unsavoury actors.
Since joining the administration in the spring of last year, Bolton has espoused skepticism about the president's whirlwind rapprochement with North Korea and has advocated against 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 persuade Trump to keep U.S. forces in Syria to counter the remnants of the Islamic State and Iranian influence in the region.
Bolton was also opposed to Trump's now-scrapped notion to bring Taliban negotiators to Camp David last weekend to try to finalize a peace deal in Afghanistan.
One Republican familiar with the disagreements between Trump and Bolton said the adviser's opposition to a possible meeting between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was a precipitating factor in the dismissal. French President Emmanuel Macron has been trying to broker such a meeting, possibly on the sidelines of the upcoming U.N. General Assembly, in the hope of salvaging the international Iran nuclear deal that Trump withdrew from.
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Pompeo said Trump has been clear that he is willing to meet with Rouhani "with no preconditions." Speaking at an unrelated briefing at the White House, Pompeo acknowledged that he had often disagreed with Bolton on issues.
"There were many times that Ambassador Bolton and I disagreed. That's to be sure," Pompeo said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who appeared with Pompeo, said: "The president's view of the Iraq war and Ambassador Bolton's was very different."
Asked if world leaders should expect changes in Trump's foreign policies going forward, Pompeo replied: "I don't think any leader around the world should make any assumption that because some one of us departs that President Trump's foreign policy will change in a material way."
Bolton and his National Security Council staff were also viewed warily by some in the White House who viewed them as more attuned to their own agendas than the president's — and some administration aides have accused Bolton's staff of being behind leaks of information embarrassing to Trump.
Bolton's ouster came as a surprise to many in the White House. Just an hour before Trump's tweet, the press office announced that Bolton would join Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a briefing. A White House official said that Bolton had departed the premises after Trump's tweet and would no longer appear as scheduled.
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The rupture with John Bolton is a case study in the president’s management style and his unusual demands and expectations of those who report directly to him.
In a further sign of acrimonious relationship, a person close to Bolton told reporters that they had been authorized to say one thing — that since Bolton has been national security adviser there have been no "bad deals" on Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Syria. The person, who did not divulge who had given the authorization, was not allowed to discuss the issue by name and spoke only on condition of anonymity.
When asked to respond to the person's comment, White House press secretary Grisham smiled and told reporters: "I don't know how to read" it. "Sounds like just somebody trying to protect him," she added.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said the move was a cause for worry.
"I'm legitimately shaken by the grave instability of American foreign policy today," Murphy tweeted. "I'm no Bolton fan, but the world is coming apart, and the revolving door of U.S. leadership is disappearing America from the world just at the moment where a stable American hand is most needed."
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was travelling with Trump Monday, said reports of Bolton's dissent on the Taliban meeting was a "bridge too far" for Trump.
Later, in a statement, Graham, a close ally of Trump's, said Bolton pursued an agenda that helped the president and protected U.S. national security. But he also said, "President Trump, like every other president, has the right to a national security adviser of his own choosing."
Oil prices surge after attacks hammer Saudi output
Oil prices saw a record surge Monday after attacks on two Saudi facilities slashed output in the world's top producer by half, fuelling fresh geopolitical fears as Donald Trump blamed Iran and raised the possibility of a military strike on the country. But the strikes raise concerns about the security of supplies from the world's biggest producer. - Energy firms surge - Oil prices had dropped last week after news that Trump had fired his anti-Iran hawkish national security adviser John Bolton, which was seen as paving the way for an easing of tensions in the region.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Charles Kupperman, the deputy national security adviser and a former Reagan administration official and defence contracting executive, would fill Bolton's role on an acting basis. Trump said he would name a replacement for Bolton next week.
Bolton was named Trump's third national security adviser in March 2018 after the departure of Army Gen. H.R. McMaster.
Bolton was always an unlikely pick to be Trump's third national security adviser, with a world view seemingly ill-fit to the president's isolationist "America First" pronouncements.
He's championed 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 briefly considered running for president in 2016, in part to make the case against the isolationism that Trump would come to embody.
Still, Trump has admired Bolton for years, praising him on Twitter as far back as 2014. Trump has told allies he thinks Bolton is "a killer" on television, where Bolton is a frequent face on Fox News, though the president has voiced some unhappiness about Bolton's trademark moustache.
AP writers Matthew Lee and Jonathan Lemire contributed.
Zeke Miller And Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
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