This is an updating story.
John Bolton, the fiery nationalist who served as President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, was fired Tuesday due to disagreements over Iran, North Korea, and Afghanistan.
In a statement, the Council on Islamic American Relations celebrated the decision and said the group hoped for a more reasoned and rational replacement.
“CAIR always welcomes the firing of notorious Islamophobic hate mongers like John Bolton, a man who has strong ties to anti-Muslim extremists and organizations,” the group said. “Let’s hope Trump’s next National Security Adviser isn’t a white supremacist or anti-Muslim bigot.”
The dismissal opens the door for peace, National Iranian American Council president Jamal Abdi said in a statement.
“The timing of this move is fortuitous given recent French efforts to facilitate dialogue between the U.S. and Iran,” said Abdi. “Bolton was a major obstacle to any resumption of diplomacy and, now that he has been dismissed, the Trump administration should take proactive steps to enable dialogue and a diplomatic resolution with Iran.”
Bolton, a notorious warhawk whose extreme views made him virtually unconfirmable in any position in the Trump administration, was appointed by the president on April 9, 2018. Before serving in the Trump administration, Bolton was then-President George W. Bush administration’s representative to the U.N.—a position he got through recess appointment as, again, he would not have been confirmed by the Senate due to his views.
As ACLU Human Rights Project director Jamil Dakwar pointed out in a statement, Bolton’s extreme views weren’t an issue before now.
“John Bolton threatened International Criminal Court judges and prosecutors for investigating the United States’ war crimes in Afghanistan,” said Dakwar. “He celebrated when victims of torture were denied the opportunity to hold their torturers accountable. He abdicated on our country’s responsibility to its international human rights commitments. None of this was apparently disagreeable enough to the president.”
According to The New York Times, Bolton had become increasingly sidelined in the administration:
The president made the announcement Tuesday via his Twitter account.
“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” Trump tweeted. “I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the administration.”
Yet Bolton, in a tweet, said that he offered to resign, a point the former official repeated in texts to news anchors covering the unfolding drama.
“I offered to resign last night,” Bolton tweeted, “and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.'”
Bolton reaffirmed that version of events in a text to Fox News host Brian Kilmeade.
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