Trump replaces National Security Adviser McMaster with John Bolton

Bolton will become Trump’s third national security adviser in 14 month

John Bolton
John Bolton

US President Donald Trump has replaced US National Security Adviser HR McMaster with John Bolton, the hawkish former US ambassador to the United Nations , the president announced on Thursday night.

Bolton has previously advocated using military force against Iran and North Korea and has taken a hard line against Russia.

Trump tweeted to thank Gen McMaster, saying he had done an “outstanding job & will always remain my friend.”

The changing of the guard will take place on 9 April, Trump said.

An official said that there were no incidents that led to McMaster’s exit, and that it was instead the result of a continuing conversation between McMaster and the president.

In a statement, McMaster, 55, said he would be retiring from the US army at the same time as leaving the White House. He thanked Trump and the members of the National Security Council, who he said had “worked together to provide the president with the best options to protect and advance our national interests”.

Bolton, 69, will replace him. He has been a polarizing figure in Washington foreign policy circles,  and has told Fox News his job would be to ensure the president has “the full range of option.”

Bolton will become Trump’s third national security adviser in 14 months.

Gen McMaster is the latest high-profile departure from the White House.

Last week Trump fired Rex Tillerson as US secretary of state, placing the CIA director Mike Pompeo into the role of the nation’s top diplomat.

Bolton’s arrival as national security advisor now casts a shadow over the future of the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, and the defence secretary, James Mattis, both of whom are reported to see Bolton as a wild card, and a civilian with no experience of war who has backed plunging the US into new conflicts.

The former envoy to the UN in the George W Bush administration has been a consistent advocate of the use of military force to further US goals around the globe.

A strident neo-conservative, Bolton helped build the case that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, which turned out to be wrong.

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