Trump, Graham confer on Bolton replacements

Trump, Graham confer on Bolton replacements
© Aaron Schwartz

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse Armed Services panel gets classified briefing on Saudi attacks America's newest comedy troupe: House GOP GOP group hits Pence over Trump alleged business conflicts MORE (R-S.C.) said Wednesday he has spoken with President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE about replacements for ousted national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump job approval rises amid record partisan gap: Gallup The Hill's Morning Report - Pompeo condemns Iran for 'act of war' while Trump moves with caution Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet MORE.

Graham said the candidates discussed included retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, former acting national security adviser and currently Vice President Pence’s national security adviser; Brian Hook, the State Department’s special envoy for Iran; and Rick Waddell, who served as deputy national security adviser under former national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

Graham added there were “others” floated, too, without naming them.

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“I think he’ll make a good choice here next week,” Graham told reporters.

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday afternoon he has five candidates to replace Bolton, reiterating he would make an announcement on his pick next week.

Trump tweeted Tuesday he had fired Bolton by telling him Monday evening "that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” pointing to disagreements with the national security adviser and others in the administration.

But Bolton disputed his account, tweeting that he offered to resign on Monday and that Trump had asked to talk about it the following day.

Bolton’s departure ended an 18-month tenure as Trump’s top security adviser in which he saw his influence steadily wane.

The pair clashed on a number of foreign policy fronts, including Trump’s efforts to negotiate a peace agreement with Afghanistan and the president’s increasing openness to talks with Iran.

On Wednesday, Trump specifically cited Bolton’s early misstep in floating a “Libya model” for nuclear negotiations with North Korea.

Bolton had suggested the United States approach nuclear negotiations with North Korea as it did with Libya. The comments nearly scuttled then-nascent diplomacy with North Korea, who feared Bolton meant its leaders would meet the same fate as killed Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.