Politics: Never-Trump ties could damage would-be Bolton successor - - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsNever-Trump ties could damage would-be Bolton successor

01:10  17 september  2019
01:10  17 september  2019 Source:   politico.com

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

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The # NeverTrump ties of one leading candidate to succeed John Bolton are coming under increasing scrutiny as President Donald Trump considers whom to tap as his fourth national security adviser. Before joining the Trump administration, senior State Department official Brian Hook co-founded a

Trump on Bolton Screwing up North Korea Talks The Trump administration on Wednesday showed no signs of abandoning the approach to Caracas championed by Bolton and Abrams since January, despite it having failed miserably. Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The #NeverTrump ties of one leading candidate to succeed John Bolton are coming under increasing scrutiny as President Donald Trump considers whom to tap as his fourth national security adviser.

Before joining the Trump administration, senior State Department official Brian Hook co-founded a network of veteran Republican foreign policy hands known as the John Hay Initiative, which sought to counter, in their telling, “the neo-isolationist strains of thought in both of our major political parties” and to defend “conservative internationalism.”

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.

Will Bolton change Trump ’s mind, or will Trump mousetrap Bolton into backtracking on his own beliefs? Bolton ’s views are dangerous, and, yes, he could very well be the vehicle by which the United States yet again chooses a preventive war that no one knows how to finish.

Will Trump pick another hardliner, albeit one who is more congenial? Or will he choose a more traditional figure such as Bolton ’s predecessor, military scholar H.R But unlike Bolton , Pompeo is widely seen as holding future political ambitions and is careful never to show any daylight with Trump .

The group’s members provided advice and guidance to all of the Republican presidential candidates who sought it. There were just two who didn’t: Rand Paul and Donald Trump.

That Hook, who is currently the U.S. special envoy for Iran, has climbed the ranks of the Trump administration and is now under consideration to be the national security adviser, is a reminder of the difficulties Trump has faced not just finding foreign policy advisers who agree on the issues — but who didn’t openly denounce him during the presidential campaign.

“You get beyond Carter Page and George Papadopoulos and it’s pretty thin pickings,” said Randy Scheunemann, who served as foreign policy adviser on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. Scheunemann, along with the vast majority of veteran Republican foreign policy hands, signed two anti-Trump letters during the 2016 campaign that served as a self-generated blacklist for transition officials.

Fevered speculation over John Bolton's replacement as national security adviser

Fevered speculation over John Bolton's replacement as national security adviser A crop of potential candidates for national security adviser is emerging in the wake of the abrupt dismissal of John Bolton from the White House on Tuesday. © Provided by Fox News Network LLCAmid a number of disagreements with Bolton -- including over recently scrapped negotiations with the Taliban over the future fo Afghanistan -- President Trump announced in a tweet that Bolton’s “services are no longer needed” and said that he would be naming a new national security adviser next week. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

President Trump named John R. Bolton , a hard-line He will be replaced as national security adviser by John R. Bolton , a former ambassador to the United H. R. McMaster, the battle-tested Army officer who was tapped last year to stabilize a turbulent foreign policy operation but who never developed a

National Security Adviser John Bolton left the Trump administration earlier this week. To work at the pleasure of President Trump is to never know when your last day will come and whether the exit But the hang-up isn't in Congress. It is taking Trump longer to name successors for ousted aides and

Never-Trump ties could damage would-be Bolton successor© Rod Lamkey/Getty Images Senior State Department official Brian Hook was derided by Fox News host Tucker Carlson as an “unapologetic neocon” who has “undisguised contempt for Donald Trump.” Even those who didn’t sign the letters, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his predecessor, Rex Tillerson, as well as two of the president’s former national security advisers, John Bolton and H.R. McMaster, have often vehemently disagreed with Trump on the issues.

While the anti-Trump utterings of would-be administration officials were once disqualifying -- an aide to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, for example, was fired after his criticisms of the president surfaced in the vetting process -- the administration has relaxed its standards with time, allowing onetime Trump critics to serve in posts outside the White House that don’t require Senate confirmation. A top aide to Pompeo, for example, joined the administration in November of 2018 after vocally criticizing Trump during the campaign.

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

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The leading assumption is that Trump will seek a National Security Council chief who is lower-profile, less ideologically strident and more willing to be a team player than the ousted Bolton , who irked numerous aides across the national security apparatus.

Instead, Trump 's aides -- including Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton -- presented him short talking points they hoped Before he left for Europe, Trump indicated to aides that he would raise the issue, even if he expected little to come from the conversation beyond Putin's

Nowadays, such criticisms will likely come into play only if all else is relatively equal, Trump insiders say.

“That could tip the balance if other candidates are on similar footing and POTUS questions compatibility,” a senior administration official said.

Trump allies are already using their influence to warn him against tapping Hook, who is now serving as the U.S. special envoy for Iran under Pompeo. The day of Bolton’s dismissal, Tucker Carlson singled out Hook on his Fox News program, deriding him as an “unapologetic neocon” who has “undisguised contempt for Donald Trump.”

Carlson, who had for months pushed the president, in private phone conversations, to get rid of Bolton, said of Hook, “A choice like that…is really no choice at all, it’s more John Bolton with the same predictable, disastrous results.”

Hook declined to comment for this article. The president has said he intends to announce a new national security adviser this week after telling reporters Friday that Pompeo would not serve both as secretary of state and national security adviser even temporarily.

Three Bolton aides submit their resignations at White House

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It was never so suicidal, never so maniacal. Whether Trump has brought out the worst in us, or we’ve just lost our minds, we’ve become a danger to the world and to ourselves, holding John Bolton to our heads as a suicide weapon. That Trump might forget the awesome danger of nuclear war is a given.

Never before has a US president been investigated for having ties to a foreign power. The oversight committee meanwhile – and at times the press – is Here’s Trump ’s early morning cry of "fake news" about reports of Russian collusion. “James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus

While Carlson and his allies paint Hook, who served as a State Department official in the George W. Bush administration, as a warmongering “neocon,” Bolton’s allies see things differently. In fact, Hook has been in a state of semi-open warfare with several Bolton aides on the National Security Council who view the Iran envoy as insufficiently hard-headed, mostly through leaks to the news media, since Bolton took the reins in April of 2018.

Since firing Lt. Gen. Michel Flynn, his first national security adviser, just weeks into the administration, the president has struggled to find foreign policy advisers who share his views. Flynn’s successor, H.R. McMaster, was a career military man who largely kept his political views under wraps, but Clashed with the president in both substance and style. And if Bolton’s combative defenses of Trump had appealed to the president in appearances on Fox News, it was the same stubbornness and belligerence that cost him his job.

Hook has been better than any of the three at working Trump circles. He joined the administration as the State Department’s director of policy planning under Rex Tillerson and used the position to ally himself closely with Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. After Tillerson’s unceremonious dismissal, Hook was the only one of his inner circle to survive. Kushner has since drawn him into his work on an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and defended him against charges of disloyalty to the president, according to two sources familiar with the deliberations.

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.

WASHINGTON — President Trump was grousing about John R. Bolton , his national security adviser, at his Florida club not long ago. Guests heard the president complaining about the advice he was getting and wondering if Mr. Bolton was taking him down a path he did not want to go.

Bolton and Pompeo are much more of a stylistic match. “ Trump likes the pugnacious, tough-guy style, and they reinforce it,” said Eliot Cohen, a former Bush administration official and Trump critic. They are also far more savvy bureaucratic operators than McMaster, who had never served in Washington and

As special envoy for Iran, Hook has been the face of the administration’s Iran policy. Working for Tillerson, he pressed the president not to scrap the Obama era nuclear deal, and as Iran envoy, he has been caught between its European signatories, on the one hand, who are trying to salvage the deal, and Trump, who has been trying to hobble the regime through economic sanctions.

Hook entered the Trump administration after working in traditional Republican circles -- first, on former GOP governor Tim Pawlenty’s 2008 presidential bid and then on Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign.

The John Hay Initiative was founded out of the ashes of the Romney campaign, when Hook and his colleagues decided to continue working together, churning out policy papers and briefing candidates and lawmakers.

Hook’s co-founders, Eliot Cohen and Eric Edelman, became vocal anti-Trumpers, signing both of the letters circulated amongst the GOP foreign policy community before the 2016 election. Cohen in particular has continued to inveighagainst the president, warning friends from working in the administration and declaring Trump’s foreign policy a disaster.

Hook never signed the anti-Trump letters, though the reason why has become a matter of dispute. Some members of the group, including Cohen, say Hook cited contractual obligations to consulting clients that prevented him from signing. Another member said Hook told him at the time he believed the letters were a bad idea.

“If he thought that, he never mentioned it at the time,” Edelman said.

Former Trump national security adviser Bolton resumes political activities

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Read More: Bolton Emerges as Potential Wrecking Ball for Trump ’s Kim Summit. Trump said Thursday comparisons with Libya would be more apt if “Unless the serious situation which led to the suspension of the North-South high-level talks is settled, it will never be easy to sit face to face again

If Mr. Trump was aware of the reaction that would ensue after his clearly improvised remarks, he appeared immune to the consequences of those words, which electrified the lobby of his signature office building. It was there in 2015 that he launched his presidential campaign with a furious assault

In a book of essays published by the John Hay Initiative in 2015, Hook, Cohen and Edelman argued for continued American engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, two places Trump has insisted on withdrawing U.S. troops. “Indeed, after a decade and a half of conflict in the Middle East and South Asia, some Americans have concluded that the best thing to do is to pull back from the world and its troubles. … We disagree,” they wrote.

Similar ideological sins have gotten would-be administration officials bounced from White House jobs. First there was Elliott Abrams, who, like Hook, hadn’t signed either anti-Trump letter but whose bid for the number two State Department job was spiked by the president after Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky brought his belief in a muscular American foreign policy to the president’s attention.

A year later, Secretary of State Pompeo tapped Abrams as U.S. envoy to Venezuela, and administration officials say the outright ban on anti-Trumpers has evolved into an unofficial administration policy that allows for their hiring so long as they don’t work in the White House or require Senate confirmation.

Case in point: Jon Lerner, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley’s deputy, was set to join the White House as Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser but was yanked at the last minute after the president learned he had worked during the campaign for the Club for Growth, which had opposed Trump’s candidacy during the primaries.

That position was no different than the one many other White House officials had taken, but Lerner hadn’t campaigned on Trump’s behalf, either.

Read More

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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