He Said-He Said: Was He Fired? Did He Resign? Trump Vs. Bolton

  • President Trump unceremoniously tweeted that he had axed John Bolton as the national security adviser, citing disagreements between the two while Bolton pushed back that he resigned in a growing war of words between the two men.
  • On Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted: “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 I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning.”
  • Trump went on to say that he would announce a replacement for Bolton next week.
  • However, Bolton texted Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade while he was on the air discussing the matter to give his side.
  • Kilmeade said: “John Bolton just texted me… he’s watching. He said: ‘Let’s be clear. I resigned.’”
  • Kilmeade “confirmed that Bolton had allowed him to share the text on-air.”
  • Bolton texted NBC: “I offered to resign last night. He never asked for it, directly or indirectly. I slept on it, and resigned this morning.”
  • Bolton also “denied reports that he and Trump had gotten into a heated argument Monday night over the president’s plan to host Taliban leaders at Camp David.”
  • To further muddy the situation, “White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said that Trump had asked for Bolton’s resignation on Monday night, and that it was delivered on Tuesday. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Trump and Bolton had not spoken on Tuesday.”
  • According to people familiar with the situation, they said that “reports over the weekend that Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence disagreed with Trump’s Camp David plan were the last straw for Bolton.”
  • However, “on Monday, Pence tweeted that the stories were fake but Bolton did not — and that, according to the officials, upset Trump.”
  • One anonymous official “said Afghanistan broke open the bottom of the bag in a relationship that had been eroding. Another official confirmed that sharp disagreement over the Afghanistan deal was the final issue that ruptured the relationship.”
  • During his tenure, “Bolton, known as a fierce infighter, had few loyal allies internally. He had clashed with many senior members of the administration at times, including Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.”

Reference Links

  • Daily Beast: John Bolton Texted Fox News Host to Dispute Trump in Real Time READ
  • NBC: Trump fires John Bolton as national security adviser READ 
  • Politico: John Bolton’s gone — and Republicans want in READ
  • The Hill: Trump ousts Bolton in messy breakup READ

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