Trump fires national security adviser John Bolton

Trump said he strongly disagreed with John Bolton on several issues. (AFP/File photo)
Updated 11 September 2019

Trump fires national security adviser John Bolton

  • Trump tweeted that he told Bolton Monday night his services were no longer needed at the White House and said Bolton submitted his resignation on Tuesday morning
  • Bolton espoused hawkish foreign policy views dating back to the Reagan administration and became a household name over his vociferous support for the Iraq War

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said Tuesday he fired national security adviser John Bolton, citing strong disagreements on a number of policy issues.
Trump tweeted that he told Bolton Monday night his services were no longer needed at the White House and said Bolton submitted his resignation on Tuesday morning. Trump said that he “disagreed strongly” with many of Bolton’s suggestions, “as did others in the administration.”

Bolton responded in a tweet of his own that he offered to resign Monday “and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.’“
Bolton’s ouster came as a surprise to many in the White House. Just an hour before Trump’s tweet, the press office announced that Bolton would join Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a briefing.

Bolton was always an unlikely pick to be Trump’s third national security adviser, with a world view seemingly ill-fit to the president’s isolationist “America First” pronouncements.
He’s espoused hawkish foreign policy views dating back to the Reagan administration and became a household name over his vociferous support for the Iraq War as the US ambassador to the UN under George W. Bush. Bolton even briefly considered running for president in 2016, in part to make the case against the isolationism that Trump would come to embody.
Inside the administration he advocated caution on the president’s whirlwind rapprochement with North Korea and against Trump’s decision last year to pull US troops out of Syria. He masterminded a quiet campaign inside the administration and with allies abroad to convince Trump to keep US forces in Syria to counter the remnants of the Islamic State and Iranian influence in the region.
Bolton was named Trump’s third national security adviser in April 2018 after the departure of Army Gen. H.R. McMaster.


Afghan poll body misses announcing crucial presidential initial vote

Updated 19 October 2019

Afghan poll body misses announcing crucial presidential initial vote

  • The chief of the country’s Independent Election Commission (IEC), blamed technical reasons for missing the timetable
  • She said the results would be announced “as soon as possible”

KABUL: Afghanistan’s election commission conceded its failure to release initial presidential poll results set for Saturday and gave no new deadline for the vote which was marred by Taliban attacks and irregularities.
The presidential poll on Sept. 28 saw the lowest turnout of any elections in Afghanistan since the Taliban’s ousting.
Hawa Alam Nuristani, the chief of the country’s Independent Election Commission (IEC), blamed technical reasons, particularly slowness in entering data on to the server, for missing the timetable.
“Regrettably, the commission due to technical issues and for the sake of transparency could not announce the presidential election initial poll results,” she said in a brief announcement.
Without naming any camp, Nuristani also said: “A number of observers of election sides (camps) illegally are disrupting the process of elections.” She did not elaborate.
Nuristani said the results would be announced “as soon as possible,” while earlier in the day two IEC members said privately that the delay would take up to a week.
The delay is another blow for the vote that has been twice delayed due to the government’s mismanagement and meetings between the US and the Taliban, which eventually collapsed last month after President Donald Trump declared the talks “dead.”
It further adds to political instability in Afghanistan, which has seen decades of conflict and foreign intervention and faced ethnic divides in recent years.
Both front-runners, President Ashraf Ghani and the country’s chief executive, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, have said that they expect to win.
The pair have been sharing power in Afghanistan as part of a US-brokered deal following the fraudulent polls of 2014.
The IEC has invalidated more than 500,000 votes because they were not conducted through biometric devices, bought for the vote from overseas to minimize the level of cheating in last month’s polls.
Officials of the commission said that nearly 1.8 million votes were considered clean and it was not clear what sort of impact the turnout would have on the legitimacy of the polls and the future government, whose main task will be to resume stalled peace talks with the Taliban.
They said that the slowness of data entry on to the server was one of the technical reasons for the delay in releasing initial poll results.
Yousuf Rashid, a senior official from an election watchdog group, described the delay as a “weakness of mismanagement,” while several lawmakers chided IEC for poor performance.
Abdul Satar Saadat, a former senior leader of an electoral body, told Arab News: “The delay showed IEC’s focus was on transparency” and that should be regarded as a sign that it took the issue of discarding fraudulent votes seriously.