H.R. McMaster has resigned and will be replaced by former U.N. ambassador John Bolton. Bolton is more hard-line than McMaster who sometimes appears to be an apologist for Iran. Bolton is opposed to the Iran nuke deal and McMaster fought to keep it.
The change at the NSC was announced in a tweet and reported by the New York Times..
I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2018
John Bolton only found out about the change this afternoon according to what he said in an interview with Martha MacCallum on Fox News.
The move was said to be orchestrated by Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. There were reports they were looking for a place for him in the Pentagon.
MCMASTER MIGHT HAVE BEEN A LEAKER
This follows a leak by H.R. McMaster or one of his security team members that angered the President. Last week, Top Secret information from a Presidential Daily Briefing was leaked.
The Washington Post reported that Trump was pressured by top aides against calling Putin. The leaker told the Post he was even given a paper that read in all caps,“DO NOT CONGRATULATE.”
Rep. Mark Meadows expressed outrage over the leak, the Washington Examiner reports, as did Senator Marco Rubio.
Meadows said that since it dealt with a foreign leader, the leak “had to” come from the president’s national security staff, headed by McMaster.
There have been quite a few leaks from the White House and from the NSC in particular.
H.R. McMaster is responsible for the leak, either directly or indirectly. No one on his team would leak if he wasn’t permissive.
Recently, Gabriel Sherman, writing for Vanity Fair, predicted McMaster would leave and his replacement would be John Bolton. Trump allegedly told Bolton he couldn’t get over Susan Rice being invited by McMaster to meet with him covertly. That may or may not be true.
NY Magazine once described John Bolton as “very undiplomatic”. Rex Tillerson did not want to work with Bolton which could help explain his departure. Bolton is a Trump loyalist and the President needs more of them.