Donald Trump could be considering ousting National Security Adviser John Bolton over displeasure with him pushing for forceful regime changes in Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea, as well as attempting to draw the US into another war, The National Interest reported, citing two anonymous sources. According to the media outlet, he is currently the main driver of the Trump administration’s confrontations with countries around the world.
The magazine noted, however, that some sources have indicated that the opposite could be true when it comes to relations between the two and pointed out that Trump himself defended Bolton last week. The US president insisted that he “tempers” his national security adviser and that he has more “dovish” people on board to balance Bolton’s hawkish approach.
The National Interest also noted that now “there’s daylight between Trump and Bolton” and that, according to the sources, “Trump wants him out”. What is more, a State Department official and a former senior administration official have told the media outlet that the US secretary of state is also at odds with the national security adviser, fearing that instead of merely pressuring and isolating Iran, Bolton could start a full-fledged war against the Islamic Republic.
This is not the first time that there are media reports about Trump being dissatisfied with Bolton’s performance. The Washington Post reported that POTUS had reportedly accused Bolton of trying to push the US into a war with Venezuela and of underestimating the country’s President Nicolas Maduro.
A recent report by The New York Times also suggested that Bolton was behind the creation of a plan, allegedly presented by acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan last Thursday, to deploy 120,000 US troops to the Middle East if Iran starts to develop nuclear weapons. Trump denied the plan’s existence on 14 May, but didn’t rule it out completely, noting that the numbers would be higher if such an approach were adopted.
Reports about Bolton pushing his own agenda have popped up before, even prior to his work in the Trump administration, when he was a US State Department undersecretary. According to the reports, Bolton would go as far as to withhold certain information in order to promote hawkish policies that he supported.