Opinion: Opinions | Bolton lost the latest Trump administration factional battle, but not the last - PressFrom - US
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OpinionOpinions | Bolton lost the latest Trump administration factional battle, but not the last

18:30  11 september  2019
18:30  11 september  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

'I resigned': Bolton fights back after Trump says he fired him

'I resigned': Bolton fights back after Trump says he fired him Former national security adviser John Bolton is pushing back against President Trump for saying that he fired him. Bolton, 70, is instead claiming that he offered his resignation. Trump made the announcement about Bolton's job status on Tuesday morning, tweeting that he "asked John for his resignation" saying they "disagreed strongly." However, Bolton is pushing back on the president's claim. Slideshow by photo services Bolton countered against Trump in a tweet, “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Opinions | Bolton lost the latest Trump administration factional battle, but not the last© Joshua Roberts/Reuters National security adviser John Bolton in the Oval Office at the White House on April 2.

In every administration — but especially in the Trump administration — personalities are policy and internal factions form assorted alliances to exert influence and maintain power. John Bolton’s long-anticipated departure from the job of national security adviser came when his faction lost all its allies. He was fighting too many battles on too many fronts.

Don't expect John Bolton to go quietly

Don't expect John Bolton to go quietly John Bolton is out. It’s no secret the hawkish national security adviser often butted heads with President Trump, and the result was his sudden departure from the White House last night. I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2019 But don’t expect Bolton to go quietly. Unlike other former administration officials, Bolton’s personal loyalty to the president is already wearing thin.

Of course, Bolton’s principal problem was that he had lost the trust and confidence of his boss, President Trump. But foreign policy differences were just one reason. “There were not bad deals when John Bolton was national security adviser,” a source close to Bolton told me Tuesday, claiming Bolton resigned while standing up for his famously hawkish foreign policy principles.

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It’s true Bolton opposed the president’s dealmaking efforts on Afghanistan, North Korea and Iran. But as several reports Tuesday explained, Trump became convinced Bolton had moved from simply opposing his agenda to actively undermining it, primarily by leaking. Trump came to that belief with the determined help of many inside and outside the administration waging a not-subtle campaign to sour the president on Bolton, primarily by leaking.

The President and His Now Ex-National Security Adviser Are Having a “You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit” Fight

The President and His Now Ex-National Security Adviser Are Having a “You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit” Fight Having failed to bomb Iran, John Bolton settles for a social media flame war with Donald Trump.

What’s remarkable is that so many factions went on the record to reveal their internal disputes. Bolton kicked that off by tweeting openly that he resigned of his own initiative, contradicting Trump’s tweet that Bolton was fired. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham then went on the record, texting with reporters that Bolton was lying. Bolton then texted reporters that Grisham was lying.

Bolton and Grisham’s mutual dislike is not new. In her previous post as Melania Trump’s press secretary, Grisham was instrumental in the public humiliation of Bolton’s former deputy Mira Ricardel, which also involved mutual accusations of leaking. Grisham’s ascendancy to the top White House communications role was always a bad sign for Team Bolton. The Trump family faction is destined to outlast any other.

Russia says exit of Trump adviser Bolton unlikely to help ties: RIA

Russia says exit of Trump adviser Bolton unlikely to help ties: RIA Russia says exit of Trump adviser Bolton unlikely to help ties: RIA

Bolton’s long-simmering feud with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his team also spilled out into plain view when Pompeo confirmed that they disagreed on many issues, contradicting his previously routine claims that the administration was unified. It’s true Bolton thought Pompeo’s North Korea diplomacy was counterproductive, and he wanted to take an even harder line than the State Department on Iran.

But Tuesday, Pompeo seemed to reveal his own personal view that Bolton was working against Trump’s agenda. Trump "should have people that he trusts and values and whose efforts and judgments benefit him in delivering American foreign policy,” Pompeo said at a sanctions-related news conference Bolton had been scheduled to attend. “That’s what, as Cabinet members, [Treasury] Secretary [Steven] Mnuchin and I try to do each and every day.”

A year ago, Pompeo and Bolton, both conservative hawks, were aligned, and Mnuchin was the outlier. Now, the tables have turned and Pompeo and Mnuchin jointly celebrated Bolton’s ouster.

“The president’s view of the Iraq War and Ambassador Bolton’s was very different. The president has made that very clear,” Mnuchin volunteered for no reason.

Three Bolton aides submit their resignations at White House

Three Bolton aides submit their resignations at White House Three Bolton aides submit their resignations at White House

Another faction Bolton was battling was that of acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney’s deputy for national security, Rob Blair, and Bolton have been feuding. “Mulvaney and Bolton are barely on speaking terms, and Blair has regularly challenged Bolton’s subordinates,” The Post reported in July. Again, there was a mix of policy and personality disputes. Again, each side accused the other of leaking.

Team Bolton lost an ally when acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan resigned mid-confirmation process in June after details emerged about his family’s troubled history. Bolton had been a big Shanahan supporter. It was Ricardel who brought her former Boeing colleague Shanahan into the administration in the first place.

Meanwhile, pro-MAGA lawmakers, pundits and Trump buddies have been attacking Bolton for months by repeatedly getting in Trump’s ear with accusations. Some close to the president always believed that Trump’s campaign agenda required the defeat of establishment GOP types like Bolton.

The final straw might have come when Bolton’s last ally, Vice President Pence, got caught up in Bolton’s various internal beefs. Pence and Bolton have been quietly close, but Pence plays a much more cautious and disciplined game. The New York Times reported Pence’s team was angry that Pence was named in news reports with Bolton as opposing Trump’s plan to invite Taliban leaders to Camp David.

Trump says Pompeo not under consideration to replace Bolton

Trump says Pompeo not under consideration to replace Bolton President Trump on Thursday said he does not plan to make Secretary of State Mike Pompeo his national security adviser. © UPI Photo Trump says Pompeo not under consideration to replace Bolton The president told reporters as he left to attend a GOP House retreat in Baltimore that he spoke with Pompeo earlier in the day, and that the secretary of State "liked the idea of somebody [else] in there." "I think he is fantastic," Trump said of Pompeo. Reports circulated this week that Trump may consider appointing Pompeo to replace former national security adviser John Bolton, who he fired on Tuesday.

“Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence publicly denied the reports, and some White House officials said they believed it was the last straw for the president,” according to the Times. This is a leak about a leak.

Bolton is not innocent: His team just got outgunned, outmaneuvered and out-leaked. It was inevitable. Anticipating this outcome, Bolton had been telling people for months he intended to leave by the end of the year. The Afghanistan Camp David mess seems to have sped that up. Bolton will leave with a record of some policy wins and some losses — from his perspective, more wins than if he hadn’t had the job at all.

Republicans on Capitol Hill lost a key interlocutor and a key ally inside the White House. Many fear Trump will replace Bolton with someone who will feed Trump’s own desire to drastically pull back on U.S. commitments and alliances abroad. Even Democrats acknowledge Bolton was somebody who they knew and trusted to — at the very least — push back against Trump’s worst instincts or false beliefs.

As Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking Democrat Robert Menendez (N.J.) told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “He was a voice that would give alternative realities, or [rather], real realities, to the president.”

In the end, pushing Bolton out the door was something that brought all the other factions in Trump World together. But don’t expect that to last long. Trump said he will choose his new national security adviser next week. Let the new internal games begin.

Read more:

Max Boot: John Bolton was bad. His departure might be worse.

Paul Waldman: Trump’s firing of Bolton was good. We’re still in a very bad place.

Jennifer Rubin: John Bolton is out, proving blind loyalty to a narcissist never works

The Post’s View: John Bolton’s legacy: Chaos, dysfunction and no meaningful accomplishments

Henry Olsen: Trump’s decision to cancel peace talks with the Taliban could be a huge blunder

Trump lists Waddell, Kellogg, O'Brien among possible Bolton successors.
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the candidates he is considering to become his new national security adviser include former deputy national security adviser Ricky Waddell, Vice President Mike Pence's security aide Keith Kellogg, and hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien. © Reuters/Carlos Barria Acting U.S. National Security Advisor Kellogg arrives for U.S.

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