Beating the Bushes

Report: Trump will remove H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser, John Bolton could be successor

By —— Bio and Archives--March 16, 2018

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Report: Trump will remove H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser, John Bolton could be successor
Anything that puts John Bolton back in the White House is a good move as far as I’m concerned, and if the Washington Post is to be believed - a dicey proposition to be sure - that may be in the offing. According to a WaPo report, President Trump has decided to part ways with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. Bolton, the one-time U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under George W. Bush, is said to be on the short list to succeed him:

Citing five people with knowledge of the plans, the Post said Trump was considering several possible replacements, including former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and Keith Kellogg, the chief of staff of the National Security Council.


The White House did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

On Tuesday, Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the president has signaled in recent days that a shake-up at the top levels of his administration was not over.

“I’m really at a point where we’re getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want,” Trump told reporters after Tillerson was fired.

McMaster is not expected to be ousted immediately, the Post reported. Trump is willing to take his time making the change to avoid humiliating McMaster and carefully choose a strong replacement, the Post said.

Trump never personally gelled with McMaster and the president recently told White House Chief of Staff John Kelly that he wanted McMaster replaced, according to the Post.

Trump has complained that McMaster, a three-star Army general, is too rigid and that his briefings go on too long and seem irrelevant, the Post reported.

Unnecessarily long meetings should be an automatic firing offense.

But back to Bolton: He will be derided as a “neocon” by many, and his view of things like the Iraq War would clash with Trump’s own view. But contrary to what a lot of people expected about Trump, he does seem to value having people on his team who challenge his own thinking. He just wants them to do it in a constructive way, and not obstruct the implementation of policy once decisions are made.

Rex Tillerson, it seems, didn’t know how to do that. McMaster may have had a lot of knowledge, but he didn’t seem to know how to translate it into information Trump felt he could use.

Bolton’s view of foreign policy has always been clear and unapologetic. He’s pro-Israel, and he’s candid in his assessments about everything from Islamic terrorism to the strategic threats posed by the likes of Russia. Bolton’s takedowns of the Iran nuclear deal were some of the most biting and effective offered, and I’d guess they’ve had an influence on Trump’s own thinking.

That said, Bolton might have a hard time getting confirmed. Democrats hate him, and he could join with libertarian Rand Paul to prevent Bolton from getting more than 50 votes - meaning every other Republican would have to hold fast to get Bolton through on a Mike Pence tiebreaker. But Bolton’s voice would be an important one for Trump to hear in a world that’s still much more dangerous than Democrats and many Republicans want to believe, and that still very much needs the global leadership of the United States.

I hope Bolton is the choice, and I hope he doesn’t come up against obstruction in the Senate. If President Trump is still trying to get the right team in place, John Bolton would be a huge step in that direction.


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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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