McMaster out, Bolton in as National Security Adviser

On Thursday, President Donald Trump named John R. Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to replace Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster as national security adviser, the New York Times and others reported.

According to the Times:

The move, which was sudden but not unexpected, signals a more confrontational approach in American foreign policy at a time when Mr. Trump faces mounting challenges, including from Iran and North Korea.

The president replaced Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson last week with the C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, a former Army officer and Tea Party congressman who has spoken about regime change in Pyongyang and about ripping up the Iran nuclear deal.

Mr. Bolton, an outspoken advocate of military action who served in the George W. Bush administration, has called for action against Iran and North Korea. In an interview on Thursday on Fox News, soon after his appointment was announced in a presidential tweet, he declined to say whether Mr. Trump should go through with a planned meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

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News of the change excited conservatives:

Others, however, were triggered by the announcement:

McMaster, the Times said, is set to retire from the military and has apparently been discussing this with Trump for several weeks.  He “decided to speed it up because questions about his status were casting a shadow over his exchanges with foreign officials,” the Times added.

The Times report further said:

Mr. Bolton, who will take office April 9, has met regularly with Mr. Trump to discuss foreign policy. Though he has been on a list of candidates for the post since the beginning of the administration, officials said Mr. Trump has hesitated, in part because of his negative reaction to Mr. Bolton’s walrus-style mustache.

On Thursday, however, Mr. Trump summoned him to the Oval Office to discuss the job. Hours later, Mr. Bolton was on Fox, where he has been an analyst, for a pre-scheduled interview, in which he confessed surprise at how quickly Mr. Trump announced the appointment. “This hasn’t sunk in,” he said.

The left-wing Vox called Bolton, “one of the most radically hawkish voices in American foreign policy.”  Which, at least in our view, means this was a good choice…

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