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The case against John Bolton, in one Trump tweet

 The case against John Bolton, in one Trump tweet


President Donald Trump has just ousted his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, and replaced him with former George W. Bush administration official John Bolton.

People who’ve been intently watching the comings and goings of people from the White House might have expected the change. But it would have come as a shock to 2013-era Donald Trump.

Bolton stood out for his hawkishness even in the hawkish Bush administration. He was a leading cheerleader for the war in Iraq. And he spent his post-White House career arguing for more military intervention, specifically in Iran (over its nuclear weapons program) and to calm the civil war in Syria.

Trump, on the other hand, used to be a pretty staunch opponent of military adventurism in general and the war in Iraq in particular. (He claimed on the campaign trail that he had opposed the war before it started; that doesn’t appear to be the case, but he was certainly criticizing it as early as 2004.)

He tweeted, over and over again, that “we should never have gone into Iraq” (though, he often added, after going in America should have at least “taken the oil”). And on at least one occasion, in 2013, he declared that “all former Bush administration officials should have zero standing” on the foreign policy question of the time:

Now, a former Bush administration official will be the president’s top policymaker on national security. He will have all sorts of standing on Syria, as well as Iran, North Korea, and any other place you care to name.

According to CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Bolton “promised Trump ‘he wouldn’t start any wars’” on the job. But as Trump himself knows very well, just because you say — or tweet — something doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stand by it.

 

 

President Donald Trump has just ousted his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, and replaced him with former George W. Bush administration official John Bolton.

 

People who’ve been intently watching the comings and goings of people from the White House might have expected the change. But it would have come as a shock to 2013-era Donald Trump.

 

Bolton stood out for his hawkishness even in the hawkish Bush administration. He was a leading cheerleader for the war in Iraq. And he spent his post-White House career arguing for more military intervention, specifically in Iran (over its nuclear weapons program) and to calm the civil war in Syria.

 

Trump, on the other hand, used to be a pretty staunch opponent of military adventurism in general and the war in Iraq in particular. (He claimed on the campaign trail that he had opposed the war before it started; that doesn’t appear to be the case, but he was certainly criticizing it as early as 2004.)

 

He tweeted, over and over again, that “we should never have gone into Iraq” (though, he often added, after going in America should have at least “taken the oil”). And on at least one occasion, in 2013, he declared that “all former Bush administration officials should have zero standing” on the foreign policy question of the time:

 

Now, a former Bush administration official will be the president’s top policymaker on national security. He will have all sorts of standing on Syria, as well as Iran, North Korea, and any other place you care to name.

 

According to CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Bolton “promised Trump ‘he wouldn’t start any wars’” on the job. But as Trump himself knows very well, just because you say — or tweet — something doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stand by it.