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30 Jun, 2019 23:47

‘Banished to Mongolia’? Bolton’s absence from Trump-Kim meeting fuels firing rumors... again

‘Banished to Mongolia’? Bolton’s absence from Trump-Kim meeting fuels firing rumors... again

Hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton was absent from President Trump’s team during his meeting with Kim Jong-un. However, non-interventionist Fox News host Tucker Carlson was present. Twitter put the pieces together.

As Trump’s most trusted adviser on all things geopolitical, one would expect John Bolton to have the president’s ear before, during, and after his historic foray across the Demilitarized Zone into North Korea and subsequent meeting with Kim Jong-un. However, Bolton was nowhere to be seen during Sunday’s impromptu summit, and was instead dispatched to Mongolia to talk security with Mongolian State Secretary Davaasuren Damdinsuren.

Notably present in Trump’s entourage, however, was Fox News host Tucker Carlson, an outspoken anti-interventionist and tireless critic of Bolton’s trigger-happy neoconservatism.

Also on rt.com Bolton is ‘war fanatic’ working to destroy peace – Pyongyang

Though Bolton’s trip had apparently been scheduled before the meeting was cobbled together, Twitter was rife with speculation. “Hopefully Bolton’s banishing to Mongolia means that the chi is ready to flow again between Washington and Pyongyang,” wrote Korean peace activist Christine Ahn.

Bolton’s presence would likely have soured the amicable mood in Korea. Pyongyang has described the adviser as “dim sighted,” “human scum,” and a “bloodsucker.” Bolton has also been accused of torpedoing this year’s Hanoi summit between Trump and Kim, by suggesting beforehand that Korean denuclearization could follow the “Libya model” – a model that saw Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi overthrown and murdered seven years after agreeing to denuclearize.

Rumors of Bolton’s impending sacking from the Trump administration began to circulate.

Such speculation is not new, however, and the DC rumor mill has been buzzing with half-stories of Bolton’s looming departure for several weeks now. Former CIA agent and whistleblower John Kiriakou told RT two weeks ago that Bolton’s head was on the chopping block, as Trump apparently tires of his lobbying for war with Iran. However, Kiriakou noted that his leaving is “definitely not a done deal,” and still the stuff of gossip.

Despite the caveat, recent public statements by Trump have given credence to the rumors. “John Bolton is absolutely a hawk,” the president told reporters last week. “If it was up to him he'd take on the whole world at one time, okay?”

Also on rt.com Trump: If it was up to John Bolton we’d be fighting WHOLE WORLD at once

With military confrontation with Iran and Venezuela on the cards last month, Trump described himself as “the one who tempers [Bolton], which is okay.” Days beforehand, Trump had expressed frustration that Bolton was trying to get him “into a war,” at least according to the Washington Post’s sources.

The president also referred to his adviser as “Mike Bolton,” at least twice on Sunday. Verbal tic, or foreshadowing of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assuming Bolton’s role? Who knows.

And where does Tucker Carlson fit into all of this? The Fox host interviewed Trump at the DMZ on Sunday, with the interview due to be broadcast on Monday. While grooming the TV presenter to replace Bolton might be a bit of a reach, Carlson reportedly has Trump’s ear on key issues of national security, and according to one report has been privately advising the president not to go to war with Iran. 

Also on rt.com Could John Bolton soon be SACKED? Will it avert Iran war? Former CIA agent Kiriakou positive on both

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