Trump fires John Bolton, will name new national security adviser next week

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin briefs the media at the White House in Washington in this Sept. 10 2019 file

Donald Trump stunned Washington once again Tuesday with a tweet saying he had fired John Bolton, his national security adviser who has pushed USA foreign policy to the right for decades.

Trump announced the firing of Bolton on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon; soon after, Bolton tweeted a rebuke, saying that he had offered to resign on Monday night. "Trump said 'I fired him, ' John Bolton said, 'No actually I resigned or tried to resign.' When America's word is contested, when it's questioned, that's not good for our national security".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says "I'm never surprised", when asked if he was shocked about the sudden departure of National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Bolton is the third national security adviser to serve during the Trump administration's first term.

A foreign policy hawk, Bolton had previously advocated for military intervention to topple the regime in Iran, North Korea and Venezuela. He planned a quiet campaign inside the administration and with US allies to persuade Trump to keep USA forces in Syria.

"All adversaries, but especially Iran, probably will view Bolton's departure as removing a major obstacle to the reaching of new agreements with the Trump administration", former senior Central Intelligence Agency officer Paul Pillar told VOA.

Bolton had spearheaded Trump's hard-line policy against Iran, including the USA abandonment of an global nuclear deal with Tehran and reimposition of US sanctions.

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Meanwhile, the president's decision to fire John Bolton is garnering support from lawmakers on both sides of the isle.

Weeks before joining the administration, Bolton wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed arguing for a preemptive strike against North Korea, only for Trump to instead pursue diplomacy with Kim Jong Un.

Trump then told reporters at the White House on Monday that he considered the peace negotiations to be "dead".

Bolton has also taken a hard line with immigration policy, and clashed with former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly over the administration's approach to border crossings.

"He has strong views on things but that's okay", Trump said in May. In May, amid tensions over fears in Washington that Iran might attack USA forces in Iraq and the Persian Gulf, the president said: "What I'd like to see with Iran, I'd like to see them call me", adding: "We can make a deal, a fair deal. I actually temper John, which is pretty fantastic", Trump said on May 9.

Bolton also helped to stall a US exit from Syria. But he also said, "President Trump, like every other president, has the right to a national security adviser of his own choosing".

- January 9, 2019: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey refuses to meet with Bolton during his visit to Turkey to discuss US plans to withdraw troops from Syria.

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