President Donald Trump says he has no plans to debate any of his three Republican primary challengers during the 2020 campaign for the White House, insisting, “they have no credibility.” (Sept. 9)
“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” Trump said in an abrupt tweet. “I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration.”
Bolton’s departure comes amid internal disagreements at the White House over recent negotiations with the Taliban on ending the war in Afghanistan. Trump said Monday that those talks are “dead” after he scuttled a secret meeting with the Taliban at Camp David.
In recent days White House officials confirmed Bolton’s disputes with other administration officials, particularly over negotiations with the Taliban and the president’s hopes for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Trump has said he wants to reduce the number of service members from around 14,000 to around 8,600.
Bolton, who took over the job from H.R. McMaster in March, 2018, had made clear his opposition to Trump’s Camp David invitation to the Taliban.
Bolton contradicted Trump’s characterization of the break, writing in a tweet that he resigned.
“I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow,'” Bolton wrote.
Bolton is a hardliner who clashed repeatedly with other Trump administration officials over everything from Iran to Afghanistan. Before he joined the White House, he had been a vocal advocate of regime change in Iran, a position Trump repeatedly disavowed. Some lawmakers feared that Bolton was pushing Trump into a perilous military confrontation with the Islamic Republic.
Bolton also took a hawkish stance on North Korea, pressing Trump to reject Kim Jong Un’s offer to partially dismantle his regime’s nuclear program and to instead demand a more sweeping denuclearization agreement.
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