Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Tuesday praised President Donald Trump for firing National Security Advisor John Bolton, saying the move was a “necessary action.”
“I commend @realDonaldTrump for this necessary action. The President has great instincts on foreign policy and ending our endless wars. He should be served by those who share those views,” Paul wrote on Twitter.
I commend @realDonaldTrump for this necessary action. The President has great instincts on foreign policy and ending our endless wars. He should be served by those who share those views. https://t.co/XEBwzySxac
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 10, 2019
Earlier Tuesday, President Trump announced that he had fired Bolton and plans to name a successor next week.
“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” the president tweeted. “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 asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2019
“I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new national security adviser next week.”
Bolton confirmed his ouster in a tweet, but said he offered to step down Monday evening.
“I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.’”
I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, “Let’s talk about it tomorrow.”
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) September 10, 2019
President Trump hasn’t elaborated on what led to Bolton’s dismissal, but internal strife over a canceled plan to host Taliban negotiators at Camp David may have been a factor, CNN reported.
The administration planned a secret peace meeting among U.S., Taliban and Afghanistan leaders last weekend, but canceled on the same day a suicide bomber attacked Kabul.
At a White House press briefing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was not surprised by Bolton’s removal.
“I’m never surprised,” Pompeo told reporters with a chuckle when asked if he was caught off guard by the development. “And I don’t mean that on just this issue.”
Since taking office more than two years ago, Trump has had three national security advisers — Bolton, Michael Flynn, H.R. McMaster. Bolton had been in the job since April 2018.
Bolton’s championed hawkish foreign policy views dating back to the Reagan administration and became a household name over his vociferous support for the Iraq War as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under George W. Bush.
Since joining the administration in the spring of last year, Bolton has espoused skepticism about the president’s whirlwind rapprochement with North Korea and has advocated against President Trump’s decision last year to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. He masterminded a quiet campaign inside the administration and with allies abroad to persuade President Trump to keep U.S. forces in Syria to counter the remnants of the Islamic State and Iranian influence in the region.
The Associated Press and UPI contributed to this report.