U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters Tuesday that President Trump was well within his rights to oust national security adviser John Bolton, after the president announced Bolton’s departure on Twitter.
Trump and his top aides say the president asked for Bolton’s resignation Monday night, although Bolton insists, he offered his resignation.
Bolton was supposed to stand at the podium alongside Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, according to White House guidance issued earlier Tuesday, but he was already out of the administration by Tuesday afternoon when the treasury secretary and secretary of state stepped to the podium.
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….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2019
“I’ll leave it to the president to talk about the reasons he made the decision but I but I would say this, the president’s entitled to the staff that he wants,” Pompeo told reporters.
I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, "Let's talk about it tomorrow."
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) September 10, 2019
“At any moment, this is a staff person who works directly for the president of the United States, and he he should have people that he trusts and values and whose efforts and judgements benefit him in delivering American foreign policy. That’s what as cabinet members Secretary Mnuchin and I try and do each and every day and when the president makes a decision like this, he’s well within his rights to do so.”
Bolton, who had served since April 2018, was Mr Trump’s third national security adviser after Michael Flynn and HR McMaster.
The BBC reports that sources said the National Security Council, which advises the president, had become a separate entity within the White House under Mr Bolton.
A former senior Trump administration official, who wished to remain anonymous, told the BBC: “He [Bolton] operates separately from the rest of the White House.”
According to the official, Mr Bolton did not attend meetings and followed his own initiatives.