john bolton

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H.R. McMaster out as national security adviser, replaced by hardliner John Bolton

McMaster is out.


David Covucci


Posted on Mar 22, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 8:52 pm CDT

In a much-anticipated move, national security adviser H.R. McMaster is leaving the Trump administration and will be replaced by John Bolton.

President Donald Trump announced the move on Twitter.

Speculation about Bolton joining the administration has been persistent ever since Trump was elected. Bolton previously and controversially served as former President George W. Bush’s U.N. Ambassador. Bush appointed Bolton while Congress was in recess and after Democrats filibustered the nomination over Bolton’s views on the U.N.

Bolton is known for his fervent belief that intervention in Iraq was justified, and he has argued publicly for a preemptive war with North Korea.

Bolton will become Trump’s third national security adviser.

McMaster served as Trump’s national security adviser for most of the first year of the administration after Michael Flynn was forced to resign just weeks into his tenure.

McMaster, along with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, were considered the “adults” in the Trump administration, tasked with tempering the president’s most petulant behaviors.

Tillerson departed the administration less than two weeks ago after coming under fire for reports that he called Trump a “moron.” McMaster, similarly, reportedly called Trump an “idiot.”

As with all these incidents of staffers leaving the administration, the administration had recently assured McMaster’s position was secure.

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*First Published: Mar 22, 2018, 10:59 pm CDT