U.S. President Trump’s national security adviser is resigning. The announcement came late Thursday.
Donald Trump said he’ll replace H.R. McMaster with John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg has more.
Officially, this is a resignation, but reports began circulating last week that the president had decided to remove McMaster.
The White House immediately denied it, but Trump reportedly complained that McMaster, a three-star general, was too rigid and that his briefings were too long.
After firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier this month, Trump said he was close to having the cabinet that he wanted. Many heard that as a sign that more departures were coming.
Bolton’s positions mark a dramatic shift from McMaster’s. Bolton served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Iraq War. He’s now a Fox News commentator where he still insists the conflict was a good idea. Trump does not.
Bolton had been meeting repeatedly with the president at the White House and the two are said to getting on quite well personally. We know that’s something Trump wants – for people he likes and trusts.
But this could represent a significant reshaping of national security. On the Iran nuclear deal, McMaster notably said, ‘don’t throw it away,’ even though that’s something Trump has suggested.
Bolton, in 2015, wrote in the New York Times that the way to keep Iran from developing a nuclear bomb was to bomb it.
Also, McMaster, working through the South Koreans, helped arrange the planned summit between Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un. Bolton has a more hawkish view towards Pyongyang.
McMaster’s wasn’t the only departure on Thursday. John Dowd, Trump’s lead lawyer in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, announced he was quitting, but denied reports that his departure was because Trump was ignoring his legal advice.
Trump said on Thursday he “would like to” testify in Mueller’s investigation after reportedly urged the Justice Department to end the investigation.
But whatever the reason for Dowd’s departure, it becomes only one in an increasingly-long line of changes among the White House’s senior officials.