Can President Trump make a clean break from “Boltonism?” Curt Mills thinks he can, as he explains at The American Conservative. Mills thinks there’s a chance that Trump and Bolton didn’t simply have a personal falling out, but that Trump could make a major policy shift after the ouster of Bolton. He writes (abridged):
After the abrupt ouster of national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday, a frenzied scramble to succeed him has ensued, with Republican friends of foreign policy restraint smelling a unique opportunity, and hawkish allies of the White House caught off guard.
On Sunday, The American Conservative first broke the story of Bolton’s imminent ouster. But President Donald Trump stirred the pot further Wednesday, giving wide-ranging remarks to the press in which he lambasted his former adviser’s core convictions.
“John is known as a tough guy,” the president said. “He’s so tough he got us into Iraq.”
The causticity of these remarks heightened speculation that Trump and Bolton had not merely fallen out personally—as had been the case in previous administration departures, such as the sackings of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson—but that Trump had grown frustrated with his administration’s own sclerotic policy formation. This potentially paves the way for Trump to make a clean break from Boltonism on national security matters.
Read more here.