(National Sentinel) Numbered Days: President Donald J. Trump’s incoming national security advisor, John Bolton, plans to “clean house” at the National Security Council, beginning with holdovers from the Obama days.
According to sources who spoke with Foreign Policy, the purge will eventually expand to include suspected leakers and anyone deemed to not be loyal to the president.
“Bolton can and will clean house,” one former White House official said.
Another source said, “He is going to remove almost all the political [appointees] [outgoing NSA Army Lt. Gen. H. R.]McMaster brought in.”
Foreign Policy noted further:
A second former White House official offered a blunt assessment of former Obama officials currently detailed or appointed to the NSC: “Everyone who was there during Obama years should start packing their shit.”
One Bolton source downplayed the report, noting that it was “premature” to talk about staff changes, The Daily Caller reported.
Another warned that any staff changes that Bolton would approve would likely be slow to come because of the time it takes to get security clearances. That means Bolton will most likely be left with most of the current staff for Trump’s planned May meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
But Matthew Freedman, a Republican consultant and Bolton adviser who is helping to manage the transition, is reportedly “overly ambitious about cleaning house,” according to a Republican source.
Freedman himself told Foreign Policy currently there is “no list” of people to let go.
Still, as the magazine noted further:
Trump and Bolton see eye to eye on a more hawkish foreign policy, especially when it comes to North Korea and Iran, and are equally averse to multilateral diplomacy, whether that means the U.N. or working with the European Union.
That has veterans of the Trump administration predicting that Bolton will quickly seek to install his own team at the NSC, which functions as a clearing house for policy advice and is supposed to integrate the different perspectives of U.S. government agencies.
Leaking has been a major problem in the Trump administration. Until the recent leak that Trump’s national security team advised him not to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his recent sham election win — which Trump did anyway, along with several European allies — White House Chief of Staff John Kelly appeared to have had them tamped down.
Never miss a single story! Sign up for our daily newsletter by clicking here!