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26 March 2018, 12:58 | Bernice Figueroa
McMaster Agrees to Resign; Trump Announces Former UN Ambassador John Bolton Will Be New National Security
He's bragged about the size of his "nuclear button", repeatedly threatened military action and used playground taunts to demean America's adversaries.
As he confronts matters of war and peace with North Korea and Iran, Trump is bringing in an adviser likely to magnify many of his own instinctive qualities: hard-hitting, fiercely nationalistic and eager to confront US adversaries.
The last two weeks could mark a major turning point in his presidency.
Now, the question is how these two Trump advisers will change a president with few, if any, fixed views on foreign policy.
Among other things, Bolton has recently argued the US should launch a "preventive attack" on North Korea before it develops the capability to strike the USA with a nuclear weapon.
President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that Bolton, 69, the former United Nations ambassador, would succeed National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on April 9. Here's what you need to know.
Yet officials said the president still has genuine respect for McMaster.
Bolton and Pompeo are much more of a stylistic match.
In most of these disputes Trump either backed Mattis or did not weigh in with his feuding advisers. McMaster 'will always remain my friend, ' the United States president tweeted. "The timeline was expedited as they both felt it was important to have the new team in place, instead of constant speculation", the official said.
Neither Bolton nor Pompeo share McMaster's belief that USA power can or should be used to reshape the world or spread democracy.
Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said Bolton is the "wrong choice" for national security adviser, given his "disturbing and bellicose record of choosing confrontation rather than dialogue, politicizing intelligence to fit his worldview, and aggressively undermining treaties and negotiations created to reduce weapons-related security threats".
His appointment is certain to scramble the White House's preparations for a proposed summit by the end of May between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Now, if Trump decides to abandon the Iran nuclear deal he has an adviser who thinks Iran can be disarmed by force-and was one of the principal players who pushed for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Bolton, known for his walrus moustache, is a fierce North Korea hawk who, in his prolific writings and television commentary, has said that preemptive war would likely be the only way to stop North Korea from obtaining the capability to attack the U.S. with a nuclear missile.
"John hates the word 'freeze, ' " Groombridge said. Two sources familiar with Bolton's relationship with Trump said one of the big unknowns was how Bolton's approach to Russian Federation will go over with the president or if he's even aware of those differences.
Trump, however, took to Twitter today to make the announcement of 69-year-old Bolton's appointment.
With fewer "moderating voices" in the White House, however, should Trump seriously consider a military strike on the North, Bolton would likely "enhance Trump's instincts rather than counsel caution", he added.
At the White House, Bolton is likely to reinforce Trump's "America First" view of the world. "If the government can't have a free interchange of ideas among the president's advisers then I think the president is not well served". Even when he was frozen out of a White House job at the start of the administration, Bolton managed to gain access to the president. He enters the White House with Trump's ear, the source close to Bolton said, which promises to further raise tensions with chief of staff John Kelly. But the ban didn't last for long. Sitting back after Trump chose to go with the recently fired Rex Tillerson, Bolton waited patiently until the President called him into service once again. Current and former White House officials have maintained that once the president begins considering replacing one of his aides, the staffer is playing on borrowed time.
"John always said that he admired Kissinger", Groombridge recalled.
The role of national security adviser does not require Senate confirmation.
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