U.S. President Donald Trump in yet another shakeup of his foreign policy team, on Thursday, replaced H.R. McMaster as national security adviser with John Bolton. Bolton will be the third national security adviser of the Trump White House already and is a hawk who has advocated using military force against North Korea and Iran.
The move, announced in a tweet and a White House statement, came little more than a week after Trump fired Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and nominated Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo to replace him.
The shakeup shows Trump, in office for 14 months, surrounding himself with advisers more likely to agree with his views and taking his foreign policy in a more hawkish direction.
What it means for a prospective summit meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is unclear. The meeting is supposed to happen by the end of May, but an exact time and place have yet to be settled on.
Bolton’s appointment could doom the already endangered Iran nuclear deal. It could also lead to friction with Trump on how tough to be on Russia, with the president still holding out hope for improved ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The news of Bolton’s appointment followed a meeting he had with Trump in the Oval Office. Even Bolton was caught by surprise. “I didn’t really expect an announcement this afternoon, but it’s obviously a great honor,” he told Fox News after the announcement. “I’m still getting used to it.”
If people are expecting softer tones from the White House, this appointment won’t make them happy. One can expect the administration to adopt a more confrontational approach to China, North Korea and Iran.
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