Bolton reacts to new White House post: 'I didn't really expect that announcement' today

John Bolton said Thursday night that he "didn't really expect" President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE to name him as his next national security adviser earlier in the day, adding that the new role will "take some getting used to."

“I didn’t really expect that announcement this afternoon,” Bolton said during an interview with Fox News.

“But it’s obviously a great honor. It’s always an honor to serve our country and I think particularly in these times, internationally, it’s a particular honor,” he added. 

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


Bolton, who currently works as a Fox News contributor, told the network on Thursday night that the process of naming him as McMaster's replacement “came to a conclusion” on Thursday afternoon. Bolton was seen visiting the Oval Office earlier in the day. 

In a statement later Thursday night, Bolton said he would “humbly accept” Trump’s job offer. He added that he hopes to make the U.S. “safer at home and stronger abroad.”

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.

Asked in a separate interview on Fox Business Network what he thinks of those who consider him more “hawkish” or “aggressive” than his predecessor, Bolton said he believes Trump is not afraid of people with strong opinions. 

“I think it benefits the decisionmaking process in the executive branch when people are able to lay their views out in a polite civil fashion,” Bolton said.

“Some people just find it difficult to deal with opinions they disagree with and unfortunately they tend to take it personally,” he added.

Updated: 11:13 p.m.