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September 10, 2019

Bolton Departs Trump Administration; Trump and Bolton Spar Over Whether Bolton Offered to Resign, or Was Asked to Resign

Twitter spat below. If you care, I assume Bolton is closer to the truth (though conversations can be murky and vague -- everyone practices a bit of Japanese Executive-style obfuscation).

I've just seen Trump care too much about very small possible slights to his ego -- things like this. Things like whether it was Trump's idea that someone should go, or that person wanted to go of his own accord. "You're not breaking up with me, because I already secretly broke up with you last week!" That kind of childishness.

I hate this crap. Not only does it demonstrate that Trump lies easily and sometimes might not even know he's lying (or offering an alternative take on reality), but I do think this sort of infantile spat over nothing suggests an ego simultaneously overweening and fragile -- the worst sort of ego to have. A dangerous one.

And how this must impact the people who are willing to work for Trump. They go in knowing they'll be savaged by the press and the Republican Establishment. But to compound it with the knowledge that if they have any disagreement with the President, he'll feel it necessary to announce to the world "I fired him"?

Like I said, people are often not very clear when they speak in a situation of conflict. Maybe Trump does think he was indeed suggesting to Bolton that maybe it would be better if he resigned, and maybe he did suggest that. Maybe this is nothing more than a dispute over ambiguous language and obfuscated intentions.

Still, we see a lot of this.


I was just talking with a pro-Trump reporter this weekend, and we were discussing Trump's staffing problems. He pointed out that people just don't think of how tiny a number of people Trump had when he came into office, and most of those were supporters with no experience in any subject-matter area or government bureaucracy.

As opposed to the armies of longtime government workers that were loyal to the Bushes (out of ideological reasons or just because they know the Bushes are always good for a paycheck) or to Hillary, who used "charity" funds to keep her Government In Waiting paid and on the team.

Trump just doesn't have that many people to pick from.

This problem has plagued Trump since day one. Not having enough of a government-in-waiting to man so much as an FBI field office, he had to rely heavily on Establishment GOP and NeverTrumpers to serve as his top staffers, and those people then got to pick the next level of staffers and the levels after that.

These people made sure that their people -- GOPe people, NeverTrump people -- got in to the Trump Administration, and that the few conservatives with government experience or subject-matter expertise who were actually Trumpites were kept out.

I know a guy who had a great deal of experience in diplomacy and was a day one Trump supporter. And I mean a public supporter; he put his name to it.

He was literally told, "That's going to count against you" when he sought a State Department posting under Trump, the man he had publicly supported.

And in fact it did; he was given the runaround in his interview process until anti-Trump forces could fill the job that Trump wanted him to have with an anti-Trumper.

So Trump doesn't have a lot of people he can call upon to serve, and a lot of the people who he could call upon have already been frozen out by the anti-Trump political staffers he put in place because he had few other options.

That means that any time he treats a departing staffer poorly, he scares off some of the few people willing to work for him.

When you barely have anyone loyal to you, you can't afford to alienate people over egotistical huffs.

I like this exchange.

Sean Davis has had enough of the kneejerk gainsaying of the "Forever War" caucus:

This guy offers this "top five" of people I think he's claiming are under active consideration as Bolton's replacement:

Friends say this: Biegun is formerly an aide to Condi Rice, and would deliver, presumably, Condi-Rice-style advice.

Keane was a big proponent of the Iraq Surge, and they say he is generally aligned with neocon theorist Robert Kagan.

MacGregor urges the immediate evacuation from Afghanistan, come hell or high water, and was a chief planner for... General Wesley Clarke.

Brian Hook is, chatter says, a "disaster:"

Hook is the founder of Latitude, LLC, an international consulting firm based in Washington, DC. He serves on the advisory board of Beacon Global Strategies.[citation needed]

Hook worked on the 2012 Romney campaign staff as senior advisor on foreign policy. He chaired the foreign policy and national security task forces of the Romney Readiness Project. He was the foreign policy director of Governor Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign from 2010-2011.[citation needed]

In 2013, he co-founded the John Hay Initiative,[2] an anti-isolationist group intended to inform political leaders about foreign policy.

In 2018 Pompeo set up the Iran Action Group to coordinate and run U.S. policy toward Iran with Hook as its head.

Hook serves on the board of trustees for St. John's Seminary in Boston and the board of directors for the National Civic Arts Society in Washington, DC.

Beacon Global Strategies is that very pro-Hillary firm where pro-Hillary government officials go to get paid for their service. Wikipedia describes them so:

A September 2013 article in Defense News, describes Beacon Global Strategies as unique for a Washington consulting firm because of its partners' intent to eventually return to government. The article noted that "Part of the confidence in future public service may stem from a combination of significant titles and relative youth, paired with the fact that most of the founders of the firm have ties to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who may be a presidential favorite heading into the 2016 election if she decides to run."

One of the founders is Hillary Clinton's number one "Nasty Man," Phillipe Reines.

So the firm was really a Hillary-Clinton-Government-In-Waiting.

I don't know if I can say what I'm hearing, but I'll say that the claim being made (unverified) is that Hook has been a sneakily subversive presence in the administration.

Everyone knows Richard Grennell. While he might be sympatico with Trump's America First foreign policy agenda, he might not have the experience or clout for the job.

On the importance of parting ways amicably:

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posted by Ace of Spades at 01:22 PM

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