As reported in these pages yesterday, John Bolton is out as national security adviser. Whether Bolton was fired or stepped down remains to be seen. According to a tweet thread by Donald Trump that begins “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” the decision was the president’s. Either way, the parting was based on “irreconcilable differences” in policy priorities:
Inside the administration, Bolton … advocated caution on Trump’s strategy with North Korea and against Trump’s decision last year to pull U.S. troops out of Syria.
Typically for a party by whose lights Donald Trump can do nothing right, Democrats are painting Bolton’s departure as a disaster. Here’s Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy:
I’m legitimately shaken by the grave instability of American foreign policy today.
I’m no Bolton fan, but the world is coming apart, and the revolving door of U.S. leadership is disappearing America from the world just at the moment where a stable American hand is most needed.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) September 10, 2019
Here’s the same Chris Murphy weighing in on Bolton’s appointment to the post in May of 2018:
John Bolton is being picked for the top non-confirmable national security job because a Senate that confirmed DeVos, Zinke, Price, and Pruitt will not confirm Bolton for anything bc he is too extreme. Noodle that for a second.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) March 22, 2018
And here, finally, is former New York Times columnist and current head of FiveThirtyEight Nate Silver:
Maybe I'm a simpleton but it seems like if you criticized Bolton's hiring you probably shouldn't also criticize his firing. pic.twitter.com/iRIGNDc28A
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) September 10, 2019