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Democrats lay into Trump's pick of Bolton for national security adviser

March 22, 2018
In The News

Congressional Democrats on Thursday were quick to condemn President Trump's decision to name former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton as his next national security adviser.

Trump tweeted early Thursday evening that Bolton, the hawkish former Bush administration official, will take over for H.R. McMaster beginning April 9.

“I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend," Trump tweeted.

McMaster, an Army lieutenant general, will retire from the military, a White House official said.

Bolton served as under secretary of State in the years leading up to the Iraq war, and was appointed U.N. ambassador in 2005. He will be Trump's third national security adviser.

Democrats overwhelmingly opposed the pick, and many noted Bolton's role in the Bush administration leading up to the Iraq War. Some expressed concerns over how he might influence U.S. policy toward Iran and North Korea.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) called the pick “another step backwards” and a cause for concern over national security.

@sethmoulton: “Another step backwards for an administration already going full throttle in reverse. If you’re worried about our national security today, you should be more concerned about it tomorrow.”

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) called Bolton a “dangerous radical” and a “disturbing nomination.”

@CongBoyle: “John Bolton is a dangerous radical. He has spent his career pushing fringe conspiracy theories and undermining key alliances around the world. He was even too extreme for the Bush administration. I strongly oppose this disturbing nomination and urge the President to reconsider.”

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) said the choice “puts our national security at risk,” and warned Bolton could “lead us into war with Iran & North Korea.”

@BettyMcCollum04: “.@AmbJohnBolton is a discredited architect of the Iraq War whose reckless views could lead us into war with Iran & North Korea. The Bolton appointment puts our national security at risk”

Here's how some other congressional Democrats responded to Bolton joining the Trump administration:

@RepGwenMoore: “In the latest edition of The Apprentice @AmbJohnBolton, vocal supporter of the Iraq War & consistent advocate for terrible foreign policy decisions, replaces National Security Adviser HR McMaster. Another disastrous staffing decision by @realDonaldTrump…”

@RepKarenBass: “John Bolton is being rewarded for selling the lie of WMDs in Iraq and peddling hatred of Muslims with the position of national security advisor. Trump continues to put our country at imminent risk of unnecessary war by hosting this hatred.”

@SenJeffMerkley: “John Bolton: Wanted war w Cuba, arguing wrongly that Cuba had WMD. Wanted war w Iraq, arguing – wrong again – that Iraq had WMD. Believes – wrongly – that Islamic law is taking over America. If you're always wrong on security, you're the wrong person to be National Security Advisor”

@RepDonBeyer: “Even for this Administration, this is a monumental step backward. Trump desperately needs tempered and measured voices around him, Bolton is neither of those things. His appointment carries grave national security implications, and sends the worst kind of message to our allies.”

@GerryConnolly: “POTUS has just destroyed rational policy-making in selecting reactionary John Bolton as National Security Advisor”

@SenMarkey: “With the appointments of Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, @realDonaldTrump is successfully lining up his war cabinet. Bolton played a key role in politicizing the intel that misled us into the Iraq War. We cannot let this extreme war hawk blunder us into another terrible conflict.”