“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” the president wrote. “I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore ... I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning.”
“I thank John very much for his service,” Trump said, noting that he plans to name Bolton’s replacement next week.
The national security adviser had been expected to appear at a White House security briefing early Tuesday afternoon alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Bolton, who served in the Trump administration for more than a year, has worked for every Republican president since Ronald Reagan. His aggressive foreign policy approach and eagerness for war have been heavily criticized, and have frequently been at odds with Trump’s own approach to military intervention.
“I disagree very much with John Bolton. His attitude in the Middle East and Iraq — was going into Iraq,” the president told reporters in June. “I think that was a big mistake and I’ve been proven right.”
Bolton’s departure follows reports of growing tensions between him and the president earlier this year.
After Iran shot down a U.S. drone in June, Trump called off a retaliatory military strike, calling it a disproportionate response. Bolton has long advocated for military action in Iran but did not publicly oppose Trump’s decision.
“I have two groups of people: I have doves and I have hawks,” Trump said when asked on “Meet the Press” if his advisers were pressuring him into taking military action. “John Bolton is absolutely a hawk. If it was up to him, he’d take on the whole world at one time.”
More recently, Bolton was reported to have torpedoed a potential summit between the Trump administration and Taliban leaders for which Pompeo had advocated, according to The New York Times. The leaders would have discussed a pathway to peace as U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan reaches its 18th year, pursuant to Trump’s promise to roll back U.S. troop levels in the region.
Prior to joining the White House, Bolton advocated for a preemptive strike on North Korea, though the president has often touted his diplomatic relationship with the country as one of the major successes of his presidency. When Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June, Bolton was notably absent.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.