By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — U.S. President Donald Trump is replacing national security adviser H.R. McMaster with former UN Ambassador John Bolton, an outspoken hawk who has advocated using military force against Iran and North Korea.
Trump tweeted on March 22 that McMaster has done “an outstanding job and will always remain my friend.” He said Bolton will take over April 9.
Trump has clashed with McMaster, a respected three-star general, and talk that McMaster would leave the administration picked up last week following Trump’s dramatic ouster of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
McMaster, 55, said he plans to retire from public life this summer.
Bolton, 69, has served as a hawkish voice in Republican foreign policy circles for decades. Among his more controversial stands, he has advocated for pre-emptive military strikes against North Korea and war with Iran.
Bolton met with Trump and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in early March to discuss North Korea and Iran. He was a leading advocate for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Bolton has also advocated getting rid of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, a pact Trump has also heavily criticized.
Bolton served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Tension between Trump and McMaster had grown increasingly public. Last month, Trump took issue with McMaster’s characterization of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election after the national security adviser told the Munich Security Summit that interference was beyond dispute.
“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians,” Trump tweeted.
Last summer, McMaster was the target of an attack campaign by conservative groups which accused him of not being tough enough on Iran.
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