John Bolton fired: ‘Complete disaster’ inside White House


DONALD Trump's presidency has been marked by turmoil and contradiction - and one man could be at least partially to blame.

That man is outgoing national security adviser John Bolton, who departed his high profile role on Tuesday this week after only 16 months in the role.

The US President has publicly declared his staffer was fired, while Mr Bolton insisted he quit on his own terms.

Mr Bolton was reportedly hired in April 2018 because Mr Trump had seen him on television before.

"Trump hired Bolton after seeing the longtime Republican bureaucrat, and former ambassador to the United Nations under George W Bush, on TV, where the President appreciated Bolton's combative approach,"The Atlantic reported.

As a result, Mr Bolton became the third person to serve as national security adviser within the Trump administration in just 15 months, taking over from Lieutenant General H R McMaster.

The first man in the role - retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn - lasted less than one month before being fired.

That revolving door echoes the White House's communications department, which has also seen an unprecedented level of staff turnover during the Trump presidency.

"In both cases, Trump tends to hire people because he's liked their work outside, then conclude that he can do a better job than they can," according to The Atlantic.

Donald Trump allegedly hired national security adviser John Bolton because he liked watching him on TV. Picture: AP Photo/Cliff Owen
Donald Trump allegedly hired national security adviser John Bolton because he liked watching him on TV. Picture: AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Almost immediately after Mr Bolton was hired, cracks began to show.

From the outset, Mr Bolton supported military intervention against opponents of the US, while Mr Trump traditionally favours diplomacy.

He was against negotiating with countries such as North Korea and Iran, a stance the President disagrees with, given his now "great friendship" with the leader Kim Jong-un and his historic move to become the first serving American president to visit the rogue nation.

Not only did Mr Bolton fail to bring his stance in line with the President's, he also vocally clashed with those who did, such as secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

According to The Washington Post, Mr Bolton's "ultra-hawkish views and habit of bureaucratic infighting" were no secret.

"The result was to compound the chaos that has characterised the administration's foreign policy and left Mr Trump without meaningful accomplishments," the publication wrote.

The Washington Post went on the explain Mr Bolton was "out of synch with Mr Trump's priorities", after recently convincing him to scrap an agreement with the Afghan Taliban that had been almost 12 months in the making.

He also pushed Mr Trump to dump a potential interim deal over North Korea's nuclear program and to order Kim Jong-un to abandon all weapons of mass destruction, which caused US-North Korean relations to disintegrate.

According to the Post, Mr Bolton undermined those important negotiations with North Korea and Afghanistan and instead pushed his own agenda, including an attack on the International Criminal Court and a failed coup against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

"This dysfunction was, of course, enabled and even encouraged by Mr Trump, who has shown no interest in orderly process. During Mr Bolton's tenure, the President abruptly reversed course on bombing Iran, as well as making peace with the Taliban, and it has been impossible to keep track of his seesawing positions on China," The Washington Post wrote.

As a result, Mr Bolton leaves behind a legacy tainted by chaos and carnage after more than 500 days in the job. His short tenure was described as a "complete disaster" by respected US political blog Lobe Log.

The publication argued Mr Bolton had managed to destroy the deal that had halted Iran's nuclear program, break the landmark Intermediate Nuclear Forces Agreement that President Ronald Reagan had "painstakingly negotiated" with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, obliterate negotiations with the Taliban and a possible deal with North Korea over nuclear dismantlement in a few short months.

"Finally, and very seriously, before Bolton there was a functioning national security inter-agency process where leaders and experts from all agencies and departments could vet policies and build consensus. The National Security Council had been the principal forum for consideration of key policies for 72 years. Bolton destroyed it in 17 months," author Joseph Cirincione wrote.

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