President Donald Trump and his former national security advisor parted ways on Tuesday morning with the president saying almost immediately that he asked John Bolton to resign but Bolton saying that, actually, he offered to resign.
It was only the latest example of conflicting messages coming from Pennsylvania Avenue. Bolton said that Trump told him, “Let’s talk about it tomorrow.”
I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, "Let's talk about it tomorrow."
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) September 10, 2019
But that clashes with the president’s statement, saying, “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House.” He even noted disagreements that he had with his former aide, writing, “I disagree 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 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
Their argument intensified when Bolton texted a Fox News host and insisted that he quit, writing, “Let’s be clear, I resigned.”
Here’s that clip:
BOLTON IS TEXTING FOX HOSTS WHO ARE ON AIR TO DISPUTE TRUMP'S ACCOUNT OF HIS FIRING
Kilmeade: "John Bolton just texted me, just now, he's watching. He said, 'let's be clear, I resigned.'" pic.twitter.com/2zg8tPTf6L
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) September 10, 2019
Bolton seemed to go on a mini-media tour, texting a reporter at the New York Times, writing, “Offered last night without his asking. Slept on it and gave it to him this morning.”
Bolton is the third national security advisor that President Trump has had during his White House tenure. The first was Michael Flynn, who was convicted of lying to the FBI. The second was General H.R. McMaster.
Bolton is a mainstay in Washington after serving for a number of years in the George W. Bush administration. During that time, he was the under Secretary of State and then the Ambassador to the United Nations.
This is hardly the first time that the president has announced on Twitter that he fired one of his aides. He also fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Twitter.