Trump replaces McMaster, taps Bolton as national security adviser

Outgoing White House National Security Advisor HR McMaster, left, and John Bolton. (AFP/Getty Images)
Updated 23 March 2018
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Trump replaces McMaster, taps Bolton as national security adviser

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump shook up his foreign policy team again on Thursday, replacing H.R. McMaster as national security adviser with John Bolton, a hawk who has advocated using military force against North Korea and Iran.
The move, announced in a tweet, came little more than a week after the firing by Trump of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo was nominated to replace him.
The shake-up means Trump is bringing in top advisers more likely to agree with his views, with a prospective summit meeting approaching between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. That is supposed to happen by the end of May.
McMaster, hired early in Trump’s presidency to replace scandal-tarred Michael Flynn as national security adviser, had been widely expected to leave soon.
Trump found McMaster’s style grating and had been looking for a replacement, advisers said.
The White House said Trump and McMaster had “mutually agreed” that he would leave.
“I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend,” Trump’s tweet said.
The announcement came a day after Trump was angered by a leak of information from his presidential briefing papers that said he was advised specifically not to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his disputed re-election.
“The two have been discussing this for some time. The timeline was expedited as they both felt it was important to have the new team in place, instead of constant speculation. This was not related to any one moment or incident, rather it was the result of ongoing conversations between the two,” a senior White House official said.
McMaster, 55, is to stay on until mid-April. He said in a statement he was also requesting retirement from the US Army, in which he holds the rank of three-star general.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had been hoping to entice McMaster into another military assignment in order to qualify as a four-star general.


Trump missteps fuel new energy in Democrats’ campaigns

Updated 10 min 30 sec ago
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Trump missteps fuel new energy in Democrats’ campaigns

RICHMOND, Virginia: Democrats have a not-so-secret weapon for the midterm campaigns: President Donald Trump.
Trump is sparking a Democratic renaissance across the country, prompting candidates, activists and voters to pour their outrage, money and time into local races across the country.
Strategists from both parties agree that opposition to Trump alone isn’t enough to win a congressional race. But the president’s ability to constantly court controversy provides weekly shots of adrenaline to Democrats.
Opposition to the president is changing the political map for Democrats who find themselves riding a wave of anti-Trump energy to compete in areas they once left for lost.