In a long rumored White House shakeup, President Trump announced on Thursday that he will be replacing General H.R. McMaster as head of the National Security Council. Former Bush Era UN Ambassador, John Bolton will take his place.
In a series of tweets yesterday, Trump announced the staff change, and took pains to thank McMaster for his service. “I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.”
On Thursday evening, after the announcement was made, John Bolton appeared on Fox News – noting that, although he had been talking with the President about the position, he was not expecting an announcement this early.
“It’s still sinking in, so I haven’t thought about it a great deal,” Bolton said to Fox host Martha MacCallum.
McMaster’s ouster comes right on the heels of his public insistence – in direct disagreement to the White House – that there is “incontrovertible” evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
President Donald Trump tweeted at that time:
“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems,”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the press secretary of White House recently tried to press down the news that McMaster’s removal was imminent.
Last Thursday she tweeted: “Just spoke to @POTUS and Gen. H.R. McMaster – contrary to reports they have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the NSC,”
The White House officials stated that the verdict for McMaster to step down from his post was mutual.
“I am thankful to President Donald J. Trump for the opportunity to serve him and our nation as national security advisor,” said McMaster on Thursday in his statement. “I am grateful for the friendship and support of the members of the National Security Council who worked together to provide the President with the best options to protect and advance our national interests.”
“A true solider-scholar, his impact on his country and this government will be felt for years to come,” said John Kelly, Chief of staff.
Bolton’s appointment rankled Democrats, who feel that Bolton is a war hawk.
“With the appointments of Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, @realDonaldTrump is successfully lining up his war cabinet,” tweeted Senator Ed Markey (Democrat – Massachusetts) “Bolton played a key role in politicizing the intel that misled us into the Iraq War. We cannot let this extreme war hawk blunder us into another terrible conflict.”
Similarly, noted GOP war hawks rejoiced at the selection of Bolton.
“I know John Bolton well and believe he is an excellent choice who will do a great job as National Security Advisor,” Senator Marco Rubio (Republican – Florida) said his statement.