John John Bolton, President Trump, North Korea discussed on WSJ Opinion: Potomac Watch
That's ADP always designing for people from the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal. This is Potomac Watch. WHAT'S PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAX. John Bolton is national security advisor his third national security adviser over what the president tweeted were disagreements agreements over policy recommendations. What's likely to happen next. We'll tell you about it. Plus Congress is back in town hide the children we will. We'll tell you what might happen. Impeachment the trade front and any other in gun control among other issues welcome. I'm Paul Zhigo with the Wall Street Journal editorial Royal Page here with my colleagues Kim Strassel. Hello Kim and Paul Bill mcgurn Bill Hi Paul so John Bolton now I can tell you that the from my own reporting that over the recent months John Bolton recognized as as he put it once you're only one tweet away Don mcgann the president's former general counsel was famous around the White House for saying that and of course he ultimately left as as well but this is a significant news coming as it does amid many many diplomatic diplomats issues and negotiations going on with the administration the Iran pressure there is the Afghanistan decision on the weekend to stop the talks with Taliban. There's the ongoing troubles else with North Korea the attempt to try to stop its missile program and there is of course also the ongoing relationship with China. What what What does it mean bill? Do you think that the president has now let his third national security advisor go and with what fifteen months before or an election yeah well for someone like me who thought John Bolton was a great national security adviser and not only because I disagreed. I agreed with lot out of what John Bolton would recommend but I thought he served the president. Well was clear he offered opinions even when they ruffled feathers and people didn't agree and a president really needs needs that it's odd coming now because the last report was that John was was on the opposite side of inviting the Taliban to Camp David and you know my reading of that is that since he prevailed or his argument prevailed that saved the president from from a real embarrassment to have the Taliban at Camp David right before the anniversary of nine eleven so in a lot of other things I think I think he gave good advice. What makes me worried is. Is this a rift with Secretary Pompeo at the State Department did he did he want John John Bolton out too and that that makes me a little more word because I think John Bolton put in a little he understood he was not the president. It wasn't Baltin administration but on the two the big issues and national security Iran and North Korea I think he provided a level of hardheadedness and sobriety and was always probably the guy I to warn against prematurely giving in to any agreement and that I think that serve the president well to answer your your question about Pompeii. Oh I think the answer to that is yes. John Bolton had clashed with Mike Pompeii on a few things palm particularly on Afghanistan Pun Peyot at Secretary of state has been. I think thank shrewd in one sense. He is not he has tried to have no discernible difference with anything. Donald Trump believes and has dutifully attempted to carry out the president's wishes on some areas where maybe pompeo if he had his own druthers might not do it and and I think Afghanistan is a really good example of that. POMPEO was the president told them I want to get out of Afghanistan. By twenty twenty. pompeo saluted he appointed waited. Zalmay Khalilzad who we all know as negotiator Zahle as he is known was negotiating with the Taliban Alabama and I think you know was putting together the negotiation at Camp David and I'm still trying to decide why the president decided to to pull the plug on that and I think it probably had something to do with John. Bolton's sounds opposition and the question is whether I mean we know that Bolton wanted to that gave him other advice and there were some other issues where they were disagreeing along the way and I think that the President you know bulletin is is a blunt person Cam. You know very well he he speaks his mind. He says what he thinks and he even says it in a fairly direct way and you know the president one thing we know about this. President is a over time he does not like people who don't agree with them yeah and that tension has been building over months now and you know Bolton. I think think light bump has been careful not to publicly disagree with the president but there have been things certainly news reports showing that he explaining that he had some profound problems with some of the president's decisions in particular he bolton was reportedly in favor of that plan air strike on Iran that was meant to be in retaliation for the downed. US drone trump call off in the end he was absolutely not in favor of the President Meeting with North Korea's Kim and crossing over into the demilitarized zone even walking into North Korea at one point point and that was actually a little bit more of a public rebuke in that when trump announced he was going to do that. Bolton decided not to accompany him and instead it went on a pre-planned trip that he already had to Mongolia and so there has been this rift forming and as you said John is the sort the guy who just says exactly what he thinks. The president doesn't much enjoy that and so maybe it's not a surprise that this has happened but I do think it's a great loss because he really served as a realist in the administration that is otherwise can seems to be very focused. Donald Trump wants to make deals sometimes. It's a little bit naive approach and we'll see who he gets his a replacement but I I think this is a loss for this administration Bolton despite his disagreements did uh did try to implement the president's policies. I mean I think I. I you know he once said to me. about Korea well. It's not the way I would do it but since the president wanted to have this face to face summit summitry with Kim Kim Jong UN the leader of North Korea. He went along any implemented. He played he you know he tried to do what the president wanted he mm did give the advice in the second summit to walk away when the deal the Kim presented was not adequate and that was good advice that he that he that he did that but so I'm I'm. I'm wondering you know what this means for the president's foreign policy bill. I guess my view would be that. One of the things that means is that the president is probably GonNa get somebody who really is going to help him do the deals he he wants to do and I'm going to have to watch very carefully what those deals are right and that's where I mean I saw John as a check on some of the there's in any White House and then he foreign policy dealing the emphasis is always on getting the deal and over time that can mean dropping some of your principles to to get the deal. It's a constant in this and I think John was a you know he has long experience in dealing with Iran and North Korea right. He's not a newcomer to this game so I I think he was a good check on it. Look you mentioned that he tried to implement the president's pile. That's the honorable thing to do having worked in the White House the worst the least honorable well people are people that don't agree with the president's policy and stay in a self serving way either to sabotage it or just serve themselves. I think you have two choices. You you either salute as you said and try to implement it in the best way you know how or you say this is a bridge too far. I can't do it in new honorably resign and over differences so I I think the president did praise the service honorable. I think the White House is less for having John Bolton's advice tempering. Maybe maybe some of the enthusiasms on these different forays and let me say one other thing on Afghanistan. I mean I can understand. The president campaigned on getting us out of these long wars wars and people do say. When are we going to do it that said the long term you if you look at our commitments in Asia and Europe the long term commitments have not been in bloody lay after the conflicts and they really have led to peace in these regions greater peace and commerce and opportunity on not unsure the Middle East is at different now I mean it looks uglier at the beginning we're talking about the sacking of John Bolton as national security adviser advisor to the president and you're listening to Potomac Watch from the Wall Street Journal. Whatever you and your employees are working for? ADP designing better ways to help you achieve it for HR talent and time management to benefits and payroll. That's ADP always designing for people.