John Bolton set to purge Obama holdovers from White House.
President Donald Trump announced Thursday that former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton will replace H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor effective April 9.
Reports are that Bolton is expected to launch a massive shake-up at the National Security Council, aiming to remove dozens of current White House officials, starting with holdovers from President Barack Obama’s administration – a move that is long overdue.
I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. 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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2018
Foreign Policy reports:
Those targeted for removal include officials believed to have been disloyal to President Donald Trump, those who have leaked about the president to the media, his predecessor’s team, and those who came in under Obama.
“Bolton can and will clean house,” one former White House official said.
Another source said, “He is going to remove almost all the political [appointees] McMaster brought in.”
A second former White House official offered a blunt assessment of former Obama officials currently detailed or appointed to the NSC: “Everyone who was there during Obama years should start packing their shit.”
On Thursday evening, just hours after Trump tapped him for the job, Bolton held a call with longtime advisors, including Matthew Freedman, a Republican consultant who once advised Bolton at the State Department and the United Nations. Freedman is currently helping manage the transition, according to a source familiar with the call.
“Freedman is a very political guy that Bolton likes,” one Republican source said. “He is overly ambitious about cleaning house.”
Freedman disputed that account, saying he was not aware of the Thursday phone call. “I can tell you there is no list,” he said.
Another source close to Bolton said it was premature to be talking about personnel changes.
Trump and Bolton see eye to eye on a more hawkish foreign policy, especially when it comes to North Korea and Iran, and are equally averse to multilateral diplomacy, whether that means the U.N. or working with the European Union.
That has veterans of the Trump administration predicting that Bolton will quickly seek to install his own team at the NSC, which functions as a clearing house for policy advice and is supposed to integrate the different perspectives of U.S. government agencies.