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Trump Fires National Security Adviser John Bolton47:10
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John Bolton, former U.S. National Security Adviser, arrives for a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (Nikolai Petrov/BelTA Pool Photo via AP)
John Bolton, former U.S. National Security Adviser, arrives for a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (Nikolai Petrov/BelTA Pool Photo via AP)

With Meghna Chakrabarti

John Bolton is out as national security adviser. Now what for U.S. foreign policy?

Guests

James Dobbins, served in several State Department and White House posts, including U.S. ambassador to the European Union, assistant secretary of state for European affairs and special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, over the course of three presidential administrations — Obama, Bush and Clinton. Senior fellow and distinguished chair in Diplomacy and Security at the RAND Corporation. (@Jim_Dobbins)

David Rothkopf, author of "Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power," "National Insecurity: American Leadership in an Age of Fear" and the forthcoming "Traitor: The Case Against Donald J. Trump." Former CEO and editor-in-chief of the Foreign Policy media organization. Host of "Deep State Radio," a podcast on national security and foreign policy. (@djrothkopf)

From The Reading List

The Daily Beast: "Opinion: Why the Trump-Bolton Marriage Was Doomed From the Start" — "The news that John Bolton was out at the White House was not actually news at all. In fact it was more akin to when Chevy Chase used to announce on Saturday Night Live that 'Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.' Bolton effectively left the job months ago, and even when he had it, as with Franco in his last years, the post was largely ceremonial. After all, being the chief adviser to a man who regularly boasts that he does not need or take advice is not much of a job, is it?

"For that reason and many others, this was a marriage that was doomed from the start. While Trump and Bolton are both bullies who don’t have much use for the international system, the similarities end there. Trump likes to talk tough but seldom follows through. He is first, last and always a Trumpist, seeking to do what he feels will bring him the most benefit personally.

"Bolton is an ideologue. His views are extreme, but unlike Trump’s they are part of a coherent, albeit dangerous, worldview. He believes tough talk must be backed up by tough action and that obstinate opponents often must be defeated by force. That is where he and Trump parted ways.

"Both were perfectly happy to talk trash about North Korea, Iran, or the Taliban. But when Trump concluded he might get more political credit for deals with each of these, he was not just eager to negotiate, he was ready to take any deal he could get. Such capitulation was anathema to Bolton, and it resulted in the estrangement of the two men.

"Signs were everywhere long ago that Bolton was national security adviser in name only. For example, earlier this summer, when Trump headed off to his most recent schmoozefest with Kim Jong Un, Bolton was dispatched to, of all places, Mongolia, a location often used as a punch line in old jokes about being in the middle of nowhere."

NBC News: "Trump fires John Bolton as national security adviser" — "President Donald Trump said Tuesday he had fired National Security Adviser John Bolton after a string of disagreements between the two over how the U.S. should handle North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran.

"Trump announced on Twitter that he had asked for Bolton's resignation, which he received this morning, after the president had 'disagreed with many of his suggestions.'

"'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 said on Twitter."

USA Today: "'Let's be clear, I resigned.' John Bolton contradicts Donald Trump on whether he was fired" — "John Bolton contradicted Donald Trump minutes after the president announced he fired Bolton as national security adviser.

"'I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, "Let's talk about it tomorrow," ' Bolton wrote in a tweet.

"Less than 15 minutes before Bolton's tweet, Trump wrote in his own series of tweets that he had requested Bolton's resignation on Monday night.

"Trump claimed that Bolton's resignation was given Tuesday morning.

"'I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,' Trump wrote. 'I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration.'

"Bolton also texted several reporters that he did not been fired, as the president has said."

Grace Tatter produced this show for broadcast.

This program aired on September 11, 2019.

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