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Reactions to Trump firing of John Bolton, foreign policy hawk

Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 10-09-2019 23:38 IST | Created: 10-09-2019 23:38 IST
Reactions to Trump firing of John Bolton, foreign policy hawk
US President Donald Trump (file photo) Image Credit: ANI

U.S. President Donald Trump has fired national security adviser John Bolton amid disagreements with the hard-line aide over how to handle foreign policy challenges such as North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan and Russia. A leading foreign policy hawk and chief architect of Trump's strident stance against Iran, Bolton was widely known to have pressed the Republican president for a harder line.

Lawmakers and policy analysts reacted immediately to the unexpected news: Senator Marco Rubio, a top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters:

"I'm a big fan of John Bolton. I've worked very well with him, and in my view he did a good job. But ultimately that's the president's decision to make. He has the right to have people around him that he wants." Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters:

"It's emblematic of President Trump's style. He wants people who basically are yes-men. I may not have agreed with Ambassador Bolton on a whole host of issues and his bellicose views, but the one thing about him is he obviously presented counterviews at times for his (Trump's) consideration. That's not something the president wants." Richard Gowan, International Crisis Group U.N. director, said in a statement:

"Bolton brought his trademark dislike of the U.N. and other international institutions like the ICC (International Criminal Court) to the White House. On his watch, the U.S. has ensured that the U.N. has been marginalized on crises from Libya to Venezuela. The Trump administration was highly skeptical of multilateralism before Bolton's arrival, and is unlikely to embrace it warmly now he has gone. But the U.S. may devote a little less time and energy to weakening U.N. institutions." Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, told Reuters:

"You know, I would normally say 'shocked' but nothing in this administration shocks you today. Mr. Bolton and I didn't agree on a lot of issues. But he was a straight shooter. He knows the circumstances. I'm sure he told the president what was going on. The president may not have liked to hear it. And it's unfortunate if the president won't accept professional advice." Republican Senator John Kennedy told Reuters:

"The president has the right to surround himself with advisers of his choice. I think everybody who works for the White House – any White House – understands that. I've got a lot of respect for Bolton. But what counts is who the president wants to advise him." Senator Bernie Sanders, who is vying for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, wrote on Twitter:

"A symptom of the problem is gone. The root cause of authoritarianism remains." Asked who would now speak to U.S. allies from the White House, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said:

"Probably Trump."


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