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.
"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:
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