President Donald J. Trump, joined by National Security Advisor John Bolton, speaks on the phone with Iraq Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi on Dec. 26, 2018, during his visit to Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

Trump Says He Fired National Security Advisor John Bolton

President Trump said he fired National Security Advisor John Bolton today, announcing on Twitter that he “disagreed strongly” with the former UN ambassador’s positions.

Bolton, though, said he resigned.

The announcement came just 90 minutes before a scheduled White House briefing with Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Press were alerted to the briefing shortly before 11 a.m.

Trump is scheduled to have lunch with Vice President Mike Pence and then meet GOP congressional leaders later in the afternoon.

NBC News reported that both Bolton and Pence were opposed to Trump’s plan to invite the Taliban to Camp David, an idea raised in a Sept. 1 Situation Room meeting and scrapped this past weekend.

“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning,” Trump tweeted at noon. “I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.”

Bolton tweeted 10 minutes later, “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.'”

Bolton was Trump’s third national security advisor, after Mike Flynn and H.R. McMaster. Keith Kellogg served in an acting role for a week in February 2017 after Flynn’s departure.

Before Trump’s announcement, Bolton tweeted, “As we reflect this week on the horrific 9/11 attack, it’s important to remember how far we’ve come in combatting radical Islamist terrorist groups but also how much work is left. We stand strong against regimes that sponsor terror & encourage violence against the US & our allies.”

This story was updated at 1:40 p.m.

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Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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