President Donald Trump will replace National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster with John Bolton on April 9, the White House announced late Thursday.
Bolton, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is a hawkish conservative with a pugnacious streak and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel.
At one time a vacillating potential presidential candidate, he will be the third person to be Trump’s chief national security aide in his 14-month presidency.
‘I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor,’ the president tweeted.
Hiring and firing: John Bolton, the former ambassador the United Nations and a security hawk will come into the White House to replace General H.R. McMaster next month, ending months of speculation
unusual tribute: Trump, who was late to a Greek Independence Day Celebration reception in the East Room because of the shake-up, thanked McMaster for his service
‘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.’
Bolton was in the West Wing Thursday afternoon – along with his signature brush-like moustache – and met with Trump.
By dinnertime the White House Press Office was a hive of activity, with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, her deputy Raj Shah and outgoing communications director Hope Hicks behind closed doors, with brief interruptions for trips down the hall to the Oval Office.
Because of the backstage frenzy, Trump was a half-hour late to a planned speech at an East Room event commemorating Greek Independence Day.
A White House official said Thursday that Trump and McMaster ‘mutually agreed’ that he would ‘resign.’
Pack your bags: A White House official said Thursday that Trump and McMaster ‘mutually agreed’ that he would ‘resign.’ ‘The two have been discussing this for some time,’ the official added.
‘The two have been discussing this for some time,’ the official added. ‘The timeline was expedited as they both felt it was important to have the new team in place, instead of constant speculation.’
McMaster, a three-star Army general, said in a statement that he will retire from the armed forces over the summer, passing up what was thought to be a chance to land a command position with a fourth star.
‘Throughout my career it has been my greatest privilege to serve alongside extraordinary servicemembers and dedicated civilians,’ he said.
‘I am thankful to President Donald J. Trump for the opportunity to serve him and our nation as national security advisor. I am grateful for the friendship and support of the members of the National Security Council who worked together to provide the President with the best options to protect and advance our national interests.’
The president said in his own statement that McMaster ‘has served his country with distinction for more than 30 years. He has won many battles and his bravery and toughness are legendary.’
Trump credited McMaster with helping to revitalize U.S. relationships in the Middle East and bring North Korea’s dictatorship to the brink of negotiations over its nuclear arsenal.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called him ‘a true solider-scholar whose impact on the U.S. ‘will be felt for years to come.’