President Trump said Wednesday he ousted National Security Adviser John R. Bolton because he clashed with key officials and “wasn’t in line” with his agenda, citing his push to apply the “Libya model” to talks with North Korea.
Mr. Trump announced Mr. Bolton’s departure in a tweet on Tuesday.
“He’s somebody that I actually had a very good relationship with, but he wasn’t getting along with people in the administration who I consider very important,” the president said. “I hope we’ve left in good standing, maybe we have and maybe we haven’t.”
Mr. Trump said there are five candidates who want to replace Mr. Bolton “very much.” He said he will announce a replacement next week.
“We have a lot of good people who want that position,” Mr. Trump told reporters.
Mr. Trump and Mr. Bolton clashed over a number of topics, including ways to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
The president, who is trying to build a relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, took offense to Mr. Bolton’s push for the Libya model in dealing with the secretive country.
Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi forfeited major weapons and allowed inspectors into his country, only to complain the West didn’t give him much in return.
Gaddafi was later ousted and killed during the Arab Spring uprisings that were backed by Europe and the U.S.
North Korea’s regime, therefore, views the Libyan approach as foolish, saying to give up their nuclear capabilities and weapons would be to forfeit their main form of security without getting sufficient benefits in return.
“He talked about the Libyan model for Kim Jong-un,” Mr. Trump said. “That was not a good statement to make. You just take a look at what happened with Gaddafi. That was not a good statement to make. And it set us back.”
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