Bolton out of the administration

It’s impossible to keep track of the comings and goings at the White House and the rest of the administration. I’ve love to see a timeline of the turnovers, and if anybody knows of one, let me know.

The latest person to get their walking papers is national security adviser John Bolton, and I doubt that many will be sad to see him go (for one thing, it cripples an already moribund administration).

You can see the details at CNN; click on the screenshot:

The announcement, of course, was made on Twitter:

The reasons, according to “sources,” are these:

Trump was irked by reports that he had faced internal pushback from Bolton over his decision to host leaders of the Taliban at Camp David, multiple people familiar with his frustration say. The President announced the plans for the meeting were canceled on Saturday.

CNN reported last week that tensions between top figures on Trump’s national security team had devolved into all-out hostility, creating a deep disconnect between staffers on the National Security Council, led by Bolton, and the rest of the administration, six people familiar with the matter said.

Bolton was initially brought into the administration last year to replace HR McMaster partly due to his hawkish position on Iran — supporting Trump’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal — but he soon began to clash with the President’s vision for diplomacy in North Korea and most recently on Afghanistan.

But Trump has been getting more and more irritated with Bolton over the past several months for his statements on Iran, Venezuela and now Afghanistan, a senior administration official told CNN Tuesday.

Trump no longer believed his national security adviser could advocate for the President’s agenda, and instead felt he was harming his credibility, the official said.

Another silver lining here is that without a National Security Adviser, World War III can’t start until he’s replaced. Oh, wait. . . .

 

74 Comments

  1. Douglas Swartzendruber
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I was just reading this news on the Washington Post site – comments were coming in at about 100 per minute! Most agreed that it was an inadvertent swamp-drain.

  2. GBJames
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Who will be crazy enough to take his place?

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      I hear Trump favours Gary Busey, due to his outstanding leadership skills in Celeb Apprentice.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Busey certainly satisfies the level of subject-matter expertise Trump tends to favor these days, but his personality may be a little too close for comfort to Bolton’s:

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          Jesus, you liberals are fussy. How about Charlie Sheen then? He was great in Platoon.

        • Douglas Swartzendruber
          Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          I think that Busey’s personality is more like Trump’s than Bolton’s – certifiably crazy versus a simple war-monger. My sister and brother-in-law were friends of Gary and first wife Judy back in the day of Teddy Jack Eddy, and Gary’s singular triumph in the Buddy Holly Story. All pretty much down hill after that.

    • Murali
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      >Who will be crazy enough to take his place?

      Kanye West

      • Posted September 10, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        That is a solid suggestion. I was also thinking Dennis Rodman since he has some history with Kim Jong-un.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted September 12, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

          Oh god, now you’ve said it it’s going to happen.

  3. Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I like how Trump thought Bolton might harm his credibility. How much lower than zero can you go? Asking for a friend.

    • Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      I’m sure there are people in the US who could harm Trump’s credibility, for example… um… um… someone who…. um….

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      I also marveled at “Trump no longer believed his national security adviser could advocate for the President’s agenda…”

      What, pray tell, is the President’s agenda?

      • rickflick
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        Trump’s agenda is whatever tumbles from his infantile brain at the moment. I can almost sympathize with Bolton. As vile as he was, he was at least serious. Having to work for the ruddy toad must have driven him nuts.

  4. darrelle
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    “I’ve love to see a timeline of the turnovers, and if anybody knows of one, let me know.”

    Rachel Maddow used to keep a running list, but I can’t find a copy of her list later than last year.

    Here is a link to a Wikipedia list. It seems to be fairly comprehensive but it isn’t arranged by date of departure.

    List of Trump administration dismissals and resignations

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Holy Shit! I counted 133… That pretty much says it all. 1 a week. To be fair, some of the people left for other jobs, and one became an ambassador, but the majority were fired.

      • darrelle
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        Yeah. Like so many of the myriad issues with Trump, this one issue all by itself is more than enough for any person making a rational unbiased assessment to conclude that Trump has no business being president. Or holding any public office. Or any office of any kind.

        1) No business genius goes through people like this.

        2) Trump himself picked most of these people or the people he picked did. Good people are hard to find but this is way below average. He obviously can’t pick subordinates. This is not business genius, it’s business moron.

        3) Able to pick who he wants he surrounds himself with scumbags. Who does that? Scumbags.

        Trump goes through people at such a high rate because he is incapable of anything other than running the nation the same way he ran his companies. As a personal little empire that exists to support and attempt to reify Trump’s delusional reality in which he is the best everything. Except he never had to deal with so many employees. So many that can’t or won’t be the toadies or stooges he requires subordinates to be. Because the national government isn’t anything remotely like a business. Let alone Trump’s businesses. And the results are looking to be the same. Just as he ran so many business ventures into the ground, so he is running the nation into the ground.

        • Mark R.
          Posted September 10, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          Running the nation into the ground and making a fortune doing it.

    • JezGrove
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Here’s Business Insider’s tally: https://www.businessinsider.com/who-has-trump-fired-so-far-james-comey-sean-spicer-michael-flynn-2017-7?r=US&IR=T

      • Blue
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Oooo, JezGrove, thank YOU !

        I knew that there had to ‘ve been
        a fairly current one … … one upon which
        some deal, so to speak, just kept
        … … a running tab !

        Blue

  5. merilee
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Bye bye Mr. Walrus.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I suspect Trump will start rehiring all the people he has fired, except those currently doing time. The only top notch people he still has is Wilbur Ross and the gas bag from Kansas. That’s okay though because they can lie with the best of them. Bolton will have more time to work on the mustache. That reminds me, I need a hair cut.

    • loren russell
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Wilbur Ross is top-notch? The guy who threatened to clean out NOAA if their scientists wouldn’t go along with Trump’s cartoon fantasy?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Ross will be the next to go. Trump was fixin’ to dump old Wilbur because he can’t seem to stay awake at cabinet meetings anyway. And now he’s gonna have to take the fall for his command to NOAA never to let the National Weather Service contradict the boss about a hurricane’s path again.

    • GBJames
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      What’s your definition of “top notch”, Randall?

  7. Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I might be wrong, but I think, despite his bombastic rhetoric, Trump is actually quite reluctant to involve the US in any more “hot” wars. It may be his only redeeming quality. Thus I was surprised when he chose the warmonger Bolton as his NSA. Bolton has never seen a world situation in which the answer is NOT to send in the Marines. I figured eventually he’d be fired.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think you’re wrong about that.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 1:57 am | Permalink

      I do hope you’re correct about that. If true, it is indeed a very large redeeming quality, not least from the point of view of the poor ‘enemy’ conscripts who would end up dead through no fault of their own.

      Wish he were less erratic, though.

      cr

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    No surprise here; Trump and Bolton were never a good match. What they had in common was a go-it-alone American unilateralism regarding international alliances. But Bolton was an old-school cold warrior and a hardliner on Russia and North Korea (although, like many others of his ilk, he managed to avoid military service himself while of an eligible age for the draft during the Vietnam War). No way could Bolton abide Trump’s kowtowing to Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un.

    Plus, unlike all Trump’s other recent cabinet-level replacements, Bolton wasn’t a natural at sucking-up to the boss through fulsome flattery. His personality’s as bristly as his mustache.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      I’m still trying to get over the Sarah/Todd Palin separation so don’t have time for these small details.

      • darrelle
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        LOL

        This actually made me spontaneously laugh out loud. Thank you Randall.

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        High school sweethearts, married in ’88, had 5 children. That’s a hard one to get over Mr. Schenck. *sniffle*

        I can’t wait for the People magazine article.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I thought that one would make a few gag. However, the length of the marriage is never a sure thing. I’m going on 43 and sometimes wonder.

        • JezGrove
          Posted September 10, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          Let’s hope Mrs Schenck isn’t a WEIT subscriber…

          • Mark R.
            Posted September 10, 2019 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

            funny…my wife isn’t. I doubt Randall’s is either. Mine is an honorary FFRF contributor though, whether she likes it or not. 😉

      • David Coxill
        Posted September 11, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        But,but ,but jesus ,what would he say .
        Sarah being bible spice ,as Alex Baldwin once called her .

  9. Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    This is very good news to those of us who dislike nuclear holocaust. I imagine every meeting between Bolton and Trump could be summarized by Bolton asking, “Can we attack now? Please, can we?”

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      How do you know you don’t like nuclear holocaust until you’ve tried it? Trump’s a new kind of politician, a maverick. And he’s a businessman. If anyone can make nuclear holocaust work it’s him.

      • Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, Trump could make the best of all Nuclear Holocausts. It’d be great. In fact, nobody would make Nuclear Holocausts as great as Trump. He would have the best one. And, I assume, some people would not have a good time then.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, no use being a spoilsport. Some folks have long seen an upside to surviving a nuclear holocaust:

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          Such a great movie and fine actors. Shame all those old movies are poorly received today and all those “wooden” actors, I’m told.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 10, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

            Not Stanley Kubrick movies, buddy. They always claim at least a half-dozen spots in every greatest-films-ever list.

            • Carl
              Posted September 10, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

              My only complaint – Dr. Strangelove fresh in the memory makes it hard to fully appreciate Patton.

          • David Coxill
            Posted September 11, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

            Pearls before swine .

  10. Raj
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I think this graphic from the Times might be what you’re looking for in terms of a timeline.

    • Posted September 10, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Trump thinks he is still on The Apprentice.

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        There’s more truth to that than I’d like to consider.

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    We should’ve all seen this coming yesterday as soon as Trump tweeted that there was no “turmoil in the White House” over his (since scuttled) plan to meet with the Taliban at Camp David.

  12. Steve Gerrard
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Bolton failed to send troops to Alabama to deal with the hurricane aftermath there. Goodbye Mr. Bolton!

  13. Carl
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    What Bolton will have to say about Trump should be interesting. Bolton despises Trump and may candidly explain why.

    I know the way a lot of people think about Bolton, but having a strong opposing voice removed is not necessarily a good thing. I don’t care to argue that his good qualities outweigh the bad, but opposing meeting the Taliban at Camp David, opposing the huge propaganda boost given to North Korea, and opposing abrupt withdrawal from Afghanistan are points in Bolton’s favor.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      We’re in agreement here, Carl. Bolton is an unconscionable warmonger, but he was alone in an administration full of dedicated ass-kissers as a check on Trump’s worst instincts for pandering to brutal dictators like Putin and Kim.

      Plus, unlike Generals McMaster and Mattis, Bolton’s unlikely to go the good soldier’s route of leaving quietly. Look for him to kiss ‘n’ tell.

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Bolton already cleared the record regarding his “firing”. He told a news outlet (forget which one) that he told Trump yesterday that he wanted to resign and Trump said: “Let’s talk about it tomorrow.” Then Trump did his typical fire by tweet. Trump, of course, needed to fire him, not accept a resignation; the naked emperor imagines himself a tough guy.

        • Carl
          Posted September 10, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          Bolton revealed Trump’s familiar dishonesty on twitter. I saw it reported in Reason.

  14. Harrison
    Posted September 10, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    And yet inviting the Taliban to Camp David on the week of the September 11th anniversary is not considered nearly as radical or reputation-ruining as Dems proposing that maybe America should have universal health care like the rest of the civilized world.

    Reality is a farce.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 10, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Turns out the American intelligence community had to extract its top Russian HUMINT asset — the one who originally revealed that Putin himself was calling the shots on Russia’s 2016 election interference — after Trump spilled the beans about top-secret code-word classified Israeli intelligence to the two Sergeys (Kislyak and Lavrov, the Russian ambassador and foreign minister respectively) during their Oval Office visit the day after Trump canned FBI director Comey (on the pretext that Comey had been mean to Hillary), for fear that Trump would put our top Russian asset in harm’s way.

      Also, Trump is shaking down the Ukrainian government right now by withholding a quarter billion bucks in defense money unless it’ll cook up some dirt for him on Joe Biden. And Trump has been propping up the airport next to his golf course in Scotland by having military aircraft go out of their way to fuel up at premium prices there.

      But, hey, some people will still have no choice but to vote for Trump because, OMG, the Democrats want to provide universal healthcare coverage and are talking about turning the misdemeanor crime of illegally entering the USA into a more efficient and manageable civil infraction.

      We’re living in a dystopian novel, man, I’m tellin’ ya.

      • Carl
        Posted September 10, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Ken, while the exfiltration story does sound like the sort of thing Trump would do, this time: not so. According to the NY Times.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 10, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, for clarification purposes, here’s the relevant paragraph from the NYT’s 5:30 pm update today to its story:

          The decision to extract the informant was driven “in part” because of concerns that Mr. Trump and his administration had mishandled delicate intelligence, CNN reported. But former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Mr. Trump directly endangered the source, and other current American officials insisted that media scrutiny of the agency’s sources alone was the impetus for the extraction.

          In light of this, it’s not fair to claim that the exfiltration was conducted out of concern that Trump posed a threat to the US’s Moscow intelligence asset. (OTOH, it’s hardly a ringing endorsement that the current US president poses no security risk.)

        • rickflick
          Posted September 10, 2019 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          The fact that we even have to consider Trump’s potential danger to national security, and with full knowledge that steps have to be taken by principles to filter information, effectively managing Trump for fear he will use information carelessly, must give anyone a nervous stomach. Scenes from Dr. Stangelove keep running through my mind. Which character in the film does Trump most resemble?

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 11, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

            Bolton is definitely from the school of international relations of Jack D. Ripper, the Strategic Air Command General who authorizes the initial nuclear attack, probably right down to Ripper’s fear of contaminating his precious bodily fluids with fluoridated water.

            Trump? I dunno, maybe the Russian ambassador who’s allowed into the War Room? 🙂

            • rickflick
              Posted September 11, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

              Trump could not be played the way Sellers played the President of the United States. That character was too steady and semi-rational. Trump could be caste something like Sam Pikins as Major ‘King’ Kong. “Ahhhhhh Hooooooo!”

              • Carl
                Posted September 11, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

                Trump would never sacrifice himself for home and country the way the Slim Pickens character did.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 11, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

                Carl’s right; Trump would never go down with the bomb (or the ship, or anything else that requires self-sacrifice). His first instinct would be to turn a profit by Trump-branding the mine-shafts.

              • Posted September 11, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

                I can’t imagine attaching greater value to something stamped “Trump” than with a different name or no name at all.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 11, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

                Based on the feedback, I’ll change my opinion. tRump could not be played like any of the characters in the film. None of the characters is that bad.

  15. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 11, 2019 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Thank god for that. World War 3 just got a tiny bit less likely.

    I guess this is one of those rare occasions when a loose cannon was pointing the right way when it went off 😉

    And I share tRump’s sense of irony that it was he who had to rein in his national security advisor.

    cr

    • rickflick
      Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      I agree. tRump’s sense of irony is a rather remarkable trait in someone so messed up. One can almost be comforted knowing he’s occasionally thinking of the negative perceptions people have of him. But, being both leader of the free world and a clown are not only irony.

  16. Posted September 11, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Getting Bolton away from the seats of power is a Trump decision I can agree with. What *I* want to know, though, is how he was put in in the first place.


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