The president’s decision to can Bolton was announced on Twitter, where Trump said the departure was based on the pair’s disagreement — as well as disagreements between the former adviser and other administration officials — when it came to his “suggestions” regarding national security.
Trump said that he would be naming a new national security adviser “next week.”
“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning.
I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.”
….I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2019
However; Bolton broke from his former boss’ reasoning for his resignation, with multiple journalists reporting that the former adviser offered his resignation on Monday night and that Trump did not fire him.
“John Bolton tells me it is ‘flatly wrong’ to say the President asked him to resign,” wrote ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl. “‘I offered to resign last night,’ Bolton told me. ‘He never asked for me to resign directly or indirectly. I slept on it and resigned this morning.'”
John Bolton tells me it is “flatly wrong” to say the President asked him to resign. "I offered to resign last night," Bolton told me. "He never asked for me to resign directly or indirectly. I slept on it and resigned this morning."
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) September 10, 2019
Bolton differs from Trump version of his resignation. "Offered last night without his asking," he texts me. "Slept on it and gave it to him this morning."
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) September 10, 2019
Quite a moment on Fox –> Host @Kilmeade said "John Bolton just texted me. Just now. He's watching. And he said, 'Let's be clear. I resigned.'"
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 10, 2019
The news also brought mixed reactions from people online, with politicians, pundits, and political people alike weighing in on Bolton’s departure.
Some celebrated Bolton leaving:
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — a staunch opponent of Trump’s former adviser — commended the president’s decision, saying that Trump has “great instincts” when it came to foreign policy.
I commend @realDonaldTrump for this necessary action. The President has great instincts on foreign policy and ending our endless wars. He should be served by those who share those views. https://t.co/XEBwzySxac
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 10, 2019
Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) — who left the Republican Party this year — said that Bolton “should never have been hired” to begin with.
John Bolton never should have been hired. I hope the president’s next national security adviser will focus on securing peace, not expanding war.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) September 10, 2019
John Bolton is a war-monger.
Donald Trump doesn’t like wars.
That’s why they’ve parted company, and that’s why even the most hysterical Trump-basher should give the President credit for so far proving himself to be a dove not a hawk.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 10, 2019
Thank you @realDonaldTrump for taking the counsel of those of us who stand against endless regime change wars in Venezuela, Iran, Syria and elsewhere.
Your instincts, not those of John Bolton, are ushering America to new heights of peace and prosperity.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) September 10, 2019
Others were not as thrilled by the news:
Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Wire Ben Shapiro said the move was “terrible for the White House” and said that Bolton was “correct” when it came to the Taliban and not the State Department.
This is terrible for the White House. Bolton was correct about the Taliban; State wasn’t. Bolton has been a hawkish voice for a tough national security policy, and his ouster likely signals that Trump’s approach will be significantly softer from this point forward. https://t.co/g13Shw46eW
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 10, 2019
Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was reportedly “very, very unhappy” about Bolton’s leaving and suggested “John Bolton” as a potential replacement.
Mitt Romney outspoken on Bolton’s firing: “I’m very, very unhappy to hear that he is leaving. It’s a huge loss for the andministration and for the nation.”
Asked about a possible replacement, Romney suggests “John Bolton”
— Nicholas Fandos (@npfandos) September 10, 2019
Bolton is about to become the most revered, wise, blameless foreign policy strategist in America. You will see a lot of “he was the adult in the room” and “he spoke truth to power” quotes
This will last for exactly as long as it is useful to the media for Trump bashing purposes
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) September 10, 2019
President Trump has fired a lot of people — few are like Bolton, who is making clear that he, too, will shape the narrative of what led to his abrupt dismissal. Ambassador Bolton is a master communicator, who is unlikely to be silent. https://t.co/Jh7vwPB9KQ
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) September 10, 2019
One user pointed out how Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) opposed both the hiring and supposed firing of Bolton:
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
Another wondered what the conversation went like:
Trump: "Hey John, can you come in here a sec? Shut the door."
Bolton: "What can I do for you, Mr. President?"
Trump: "John, I mustache you for your resignation."
— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) September 10, 2019
It is unclear at the moment who Trump will select to be his next national security advisor.