Newly appointed national security advisor for President Donald Trump, John Bolton, is said to be “brilliant and very tough.” According to Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz – “he will be a valuable part of the president’s national security team” describing Bolton as “hawkish and smart” and his views as “consistent with the president.”
Bolton is slated to replace H.R. McMaster on April 9, 2018 after McMaster’s untimely retirement and desire to “leave public service.”
Bolton is the newest high-level addition to the Trump administration. The president announced late Thursday via tweet that Bolton would be replacing H.R. McMaster, making him Trump’s third national security adviser in just 14 months.
I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2018
The 69-year-old served previously under President George W. Bush as a United Nations ambassador and is already expected to “launch a massive shake-up” when he takes his position early next month in an effort to clear leakers out of the Trump administration. Leaking information to the press has been a problem that has plagued the Trump administration from the beginning.
Reports are coming out that Bolton and his staff are making plans to target any and all officials that are believed to have been disloyal to President Trump, those who have chosen to leak to the media about the president, and those that came in under former President Barack Obama.
Foreign Policy magazine reported –
‘Bolton can and will clean house,” one former White House official told the magazine.
A second former White House official was more blunt: “Everyone who was there during Obama years should start packing their s**t.’
And another source said that Bolton “is going to remove almost all the political [appointees] McMaster brought in.
Trump and Bolton see eye to eye on a more hawkish foreign policy, especially when it comes to North Korea and Iran, and are equally averse to multilateral diplomacy, whether that means the U.N. or working with the European Union.
That has veterans of the Trump administration predicting that Bolton will quickly seek to install his own team at the NSC, which functions as a clearing house for policy advice and is supposed to integrate the different perspectives of U.S. government agencies.”
Within hours of his appointment by President Trump, Bolton held a conference call with longtime advisors including longtime Republican consultant Matthew Freedman. Freedman advised Bolton while he served with both the State Department and the United Nations and he will be helping Bolton to manage his transition into the NSC.
Bolton states of the issues facing the Trump administration and the United States as a whole – “The United States currently faces a wide array of issues and I look forward to working with President Trump and his leadership team in addressing these complex challenges in an effort to make our country safer at home and stronger abroad.”
The purge is not going to stop with Obama appointees either as there are also plans to remove all political appointees brought in by McMaster as well.
The Daily Caller reports –
‘One Bolton source put a damper on the report, saying it was “premature” to talk about staff changes. Another cautioned that any staff changes, were they to be signed off on by Bolton, would be slow in coming because of the time it takes to process security clearances, which will likely leave Bolton with most current staff for President Trump’s upcoming May meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
However, Matthew Freedman, a Republican consultant and Bolton adviser who is helping to manage the transition, is reportedly “overly ambitious about cleaning house,” according to a Republican source, although Freedman himself told Foreign Policy there was currently “no list” of people to fire.’
Foreign Policy also reports –
‘Among the officials Bolton’s allies are urging him to fire is Nadia Schadlow, currently the deputy national security advisor for strategy. Schadlow was the primary author of the administration’s recently released National Security Strategy, which was viewed as a surprisingly mainstream document that reaffirmed many traditional U.S. foreign-policy positions. Another official likely to be targeted in a Bolton purge is McMaster’s deputy, Ricky Waddell.
It wouldn’t be the first purge to follow a change in Trump’s national security advisor. When Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster replaced retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn in the job last year, McMaster systematically eliminated officials seen as loyal to his predecessor.
According to four sources close to the White House, those so-called “Flynnstones” — advisors loyal to Flynn — are believed to be plotting their return to the NSC.’
Still, personnel changes take time. It would be detrimental for national security to leave the NSC short-handed, so for now, Bolton will have to make due with who he has while his incoming team receives security clearances. That also means Bolton’s current staff will be in place for the summit meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in May.