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Politics

Trump fires hawkish national security adviser Bolton

'I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions,' president tweets

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton meets with journalists during a visit to London in August.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that he has asked National Security Adviser John Bolton to resign, a move likely to impact Washington's approach to North Korea and Iran.

"I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House," Trump wrote. "I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration ... I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning." He thanked Bolton for his service and said a replacement would be named next week.

Bolton countered Trump's interpretation with a tweet saying that he had "offered to resign last night" and that the president had only said, "Let's talk about it tomorrow."

Known as a foreign policy hawk, Bolton was appointed Trump's third national security adviser in April 2018. He disagreed with the president on North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan, and often also clashed with administration officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"There were definitely places that Ambassador ... Bolton and I had different views about how we should proceed," Pompeo said in a press conference later on Tuesday.

Bolton had urged Trump not to agree to any concessions at his February summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, arguing that Pyongyang had not made enough effort to denuclearize. The North has since conducted multiple missile and rocket tests, including on Tuesday.

Bolton was also reportedly left out from recent discussions over Afghanistan. Bolton was known to have opposed to a State Department plan to sign an Afghan peace deal with the Taliban insurgents.

The 70-year-old lawyer served as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs and later U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush.

Bolton often aligned with Vice President Dick Cheney and neoconservatives such as Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz to strongly push for the war in Iraq.

"The president's view of the Iraq War and Ambassador Bolton's was very different," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said alongside Pompeo in Tuesday's press conference.

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