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22 Mar, 2018 22:33

Trump replaces national security adviser McMaster with John Bolton

Former United Nations ambassador and stalwart Republican hawk John Bolton will replace Gen. HR McMaster as the national security adviser on April 9, President Trump has announced.

Announcing his decision, Trump thanked Herbert Raymond McMaster for his service, praising his “outstanding job” in his role as the National Security Advisor. McMaster “will always remain my friend,” the US president tweeted.

READ MORE: New NSC adviser John Bolton: The hawkiest hawk of the Bush administration?

“After thirty-four years of service to our nation, I am requesting retirement from the US Army effective this summer after which I will leave public service. Throughout my career it has been my greatest privilege to serve alongside extraordinary servicemembers and dedicated civilians,” McMaster said in a statement.

Trump reciprocated, noting that the general “served his country with distinction” for more than three decades. “General McMaster’s leadership of the National Security Council staff has helped my administration accomplish great things to bolster America’s national security,” the president said in a statement.

The administration especially noted McMaster's crucial role in drafting the America First National Security Strategy, “smashing” Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists and bringing North Korea "to the table.”

Bolton will become Trump’s third national security adviser in 14 months. McMaster was named Trump's national security adviser in February 2017, just days after the US President sacked his predecessor, Michael Flynn, amid a scandal over his ‘unreported’ contact with the former Russian Ambassador to the US.

The White House has emphasized that Trump’s move to relieve the general of his duties was a mutually-agreed decision. “This was not related to any one moment or incident, rather it was the result of ongoing conversations between the two,” a WH official outlined.

Prior to Bolton’s official appointment, Trump had already hinted that the 69-year-old veteran war hawk will assume “a different” capacity. “I know John Bolton we’re going to be asking to work with us in a somewhat different capacity,” the US President said on Monday. "John is a terrific guy. We had some really good meetings with him. He knows a lot. He has a good number of ideas that I must tell you I agree very much with. So we’ll be talking to John Bolton in a different capacity.”

Bolton, who served as the head of the US delegation to the United Nations in 2005-2006, will assume his new role in April. The former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (2001-2005) seems to have a unique vision on a wide range of national security issues. For instance, just last month, in an op-ed article in The Wall Street Journal, Bolton argued that there were no legal boundaries preventing the US from striking North Korea on grounds of ‘self-defense.'

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