What John Bolton’s Ouster Says About Donald Trump

No matter who advises this president, chaos will reign.

Comments: 201

  1. The relationship between the Trump White House staff and Fox News reminds me of Major League Baseball and their farms teams. There is a constant flow of players in both directions, depending upon the whims of the owner, in this case Trump. Bolton will inevitably wind up on Fox and maybe, if he performs well, he will be invited back to the majors.

  2. @stan continople You mean back on Faux with the rest of his friends from Trump's broken White House.

  3. You really want to know what the problem is? For trump, life is just a run of episodes and seasons. In TVland, what happened last week really doesn't effect what will happen this week. In real life, however, what you do this week will effect you and those around you forever.

  4. Well one of your owners or Editorial Board members should get right over and fix this mess. I don't care who is President, who in the world could handle all of this turmoil?. This is a long time brewing, not just president Trump's doing. Stop sitting on the sidelines and get into the game. Whine, whine, whine...no solutions.

  5. @Steven Pettinga Solutions will not be found with the Drama Queen President. Turmoil is his stock in trade.

  6. It had to be Taliban-Gate that sank this relationship. Preposterous Premise on advent of 9/11 anniversary-meeting would be held at Camp David--singing Kumbaya and such. Had to be the last straw. All eyes look to Ivanka and Jared-- -----not too late to stage intervention

  7. @TWShe Said Naw. They are too busy planning how to make more money while the administration lasts. Grifters, both of them.

  8. There is absolutely no need whatsoever, for a National Security Advisor in the Trump Government. The only "Advisor" Trump listens to, is Fox and Friends. Whoever the Acting National Security Advisor is now, just has to agree with whatever Trump tweets, no matter how ridiculous it is. If Trump draws a Sharpie around lower Mongolia, and declares that it's the Republic of Cameroon, the Acting Advisor has to say, "Oh, you're absolutely correct Mr. Trump." The United States Government, has now become just a pathetic joke.

  9. Our allies aren't "contused." They are desperate, panicked at seeing no path to surviving Voldemort.

  10. Pompeo, Barr, and Pence will never be fired. They have Trumps # and no moral compass. When he says jump they massage his ego.

  11. @Johnjam Pence of course cannot be fired because he was elected, not appointed.

  12. @pat Surely you jest.

  13. @pat he can be forced out. See Agnew. I’m sure pence is at a minimum just as guilty as he was

  14. Trump's apparent inability to retain anyone in an advisory role should be adequate evidence that he is unfit to be our president. The notion of inviting anyone representing the Taliban to stay at Camp David is surely the equivalent of treason and quite possibly insanity.

  15. "A chaos candidacy will result in a chaos Presidency" - Jeb Bush August 2015 No ONE gets to act surprised.

  16. @Basic Nobody is longing for a return to the Bush era. Nobody. Let's be clear on that. Don't even send us the grandsons to look over: America is done supporting Barbara Bush's sons and any grands. Done! They've helped the country enough...

  17. @Basic Every single person who voted for him is responsible for the current state of affairs. Look in the mirror trump supporters. This disaster is your doing.

  18. Bolton and Donnie shared the same love for Faux News...and that's about it.

  19. Please, let's all agree to stop referring to incompetence as chaos. There is no method to President Trump's madness. There is only madness.

  20. @Didier There is method. How can people think Trump is not deliberately undermining the effectiveness of our government in protecting the country from enemies inside and out?

  21. @Didier I bet Trump completes his presidency having killed fewer people and wrecked fewer countries than GWBush and Obama. I don't like Trump, but the hysteria surrounding his presidency is far worse than Trump chaos. But the media doesn't do depth, chaos and hysteria are such fun. I respect Trump's trying to work out something with Kim Jong-un... maybe a formal peace treaty to end the Korean War after all these years. But the thought of that makes the Washington foreign policy establishment and the military industrial complex, the NYT and other Establishment media go ballistic. They are STILL aching to wipe North Korea off the face of the earth. The world desperately needs a new leader!

  22. @Didier Yes, of a sort. See www.dangerouscase.org for confirmation from top behavioral health professionals.

  23. When trump was elected, and for the ensuing months which then has sadly turned to years, I have felt unsettled and depressed. At some point today the depression changed to deep anger. What is trump doing in the White House? Why is he still running this country? I can't wait for an election to possibly get rid of him. He is a despicable, scary person who has no business anywhere near the Red Phone or anywhere close to nuclear codes.

  24. @lindap There are other ways, lindap. They are discouraged. Not sure why, in this situation.

  25. @lindap - You are not alone. I can not bare to look at him or hear his voice. He is the foulest of beings, he corrupts everything he touches. That he remains, that the people around him - accessories to his criminality remain - is incomprehensible. If he is not removed in 2020, it's going to get really, really ugly. We won't last as a country or a people beyond that, if we manage to hold together until then.

  26. Trump , a stable genius? Hardly. Stupid is as stupid does.

  27. Trump became a multimillionaire with this management style and is just bringing what worked for him to the White House. Bolton is just another staffer and his departure isn’t a big deal.

  28. @Jay Lincoln Show us the financials.

  29. @Jay Lincoln he is an expert in bankruptcies, not the best management style for a company or a country. Bolton is a symptom, which makes him more of a big deal. He should never have been in that position, another symptom of a poor management style. Still waiting to see all those Best People trump promised he would hire. Didn’t have them in his business and definitely doesn’t have them in his White House.

  30. @db2 And his taxes.

  31. What position did this Editorial Board take on the Iraq War? If Trump had taken us to war this Board would have, rightfully, taken him to task for it. It would have questioned whether or not a war was necessary and/or in the interests of the people of the United States. In short this Editorial Board would have attacked Trump for an action it would not have questioned had a traditional Republican or Democratic President done it. I am not a fan of Trump. I am glad that we are not at war with Iran. I am glad we are not at war with North Korea. I am glad we are not involved in Venezuela. I am glad we did not get sucked into Syria. Those are good things. I guarantee you that had Hillary Clinton been in the Presidency we would be in at least two new wars. I guarantee you that had any of Trump's Republican opponents won the Presidency we would be in a new war as well. And I guarantee you this Editorial Board would not say a word against any of those wars.

  32. @willt26 I wouldn't want to guarantee it, but you are on the right track nonetheless. I have limited confidence that Hillary would not have started a new war. But she would not be getting direction, or whatever Trump gets in his secret meetings with the man, from Putin.

  33. @willt26 I guarantee you that Hillary Clinton would not have taken us into any new wars. There would have been DIPLOMACY, not fumbling incompetence. The only thing that may save us with trump is that he is a coward. That does not guarantee us security, only that he will run and hide if the going gets tough.

  34. Why are so-called reputable news sources still referring to trump as president? He was not fairly elected and has no ability to do the job. Why is anything he says treated as news?

  35. @Giles. Beats me.

  36. @Giles Because he IS the president, as much as you (and I) might wish otherwise. He won the electoral college - them's the rules.

  37. The behaviors of both Trump and Bolton (and before that, Flynn) are sadly strong evidence that the appointment of National Security Adviser should require senate confirmation.

  38. @1954Stratocaster Senate confirmations of Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and the various swamp creatures who constitute Trump's Cabinet are, sadly, strong evidence that Trump's National Security Advisors would have been rubber-stamped by Moscow Mitch and the rest of the Senate Republicans whose loyalty to the Koch Cabal supersedes any commitment to upholding the Constitution

  39. Trump's alleged chaos has led to less foreign policy carnage than either Presidents Bush or Obama. All lives matter, foreign ones too. Under Bush's wars, we just stopped counting all the dead.

  40. @Midway Obama inherited the Bush war...Trump, though not starting another war (beyond a trade war) has not gotten us out of the Bush war either.

  41. @Midway Agreed. Even reputable American news sources rarely refer to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi fatalities that resulted from our invasion.

  42. @Muso What Obama/H.Clinton did to Libya was an exact repeat resultswise of the Iraq fiasco. He was elected to foil George Bush. Obama's foreign policy was Bush on autopilot... The world is safer under an experienced realist like Trump. Obama and Bush and Clinton were too far removed from the reality of their actions. Things don't work out like on paper or in the academic world, sadly.

  43. Advisers trying to advise Trump on anything have about the same chance as Kim scrapping his WMDs. NADA. Remember during his campaign how Trump boasted that "I alone" can fix it? Fast forward to the present. Trump has an idle press secretary because he alone can give press conferences next to a helicopter. He doesn't need a head of NSA nor any of his cabinet members because he alone is an expert on everything. He boasts about consulting only himself regarding his dangerously impulsive idea to meet with the Taliban at Camp David. Isn't it reassuring that we have a president who relies on absolutely no one but himself to make critical decisions? What's most insane is that while Trump's popularity is waning, he still has the undying support of millions, begging the question, What is it about this man that they like?

  44. John Bolton, purveyor of tin-eared diplomacy and desire for destroying whatever he doesn't like, not finding common ground with Trump is like Lex Luthor and the Joker breaking up.

  45. Trump is awful. But he has managed, for all his awfulness, to not drag this country into another war. What does that say about our traditional politicians and political parties? Trump treats people like garbage but he hasn't casually sent thousands of our children to die. Traditional politicians are kind and say nice things- and send our children to die for no reason. I wonder where we would be, now, had the Democratic Party been willing to flatter Trump? I disagreed with the Republicans when they refused to work with President Obama.

  46. Literally flattering Trump would have made no difference, except possibly to make things worse, and Trump hasn’t even really worked with Republicans, let alone Democrats. I believe in cooperation, too, but this administration does not.

  47. @willt26 he really hasn’t had much opportunity to get into a war. All the good ones are already taken. He is basically a coward. I don’t agree with our wars and the reasons for them, but he isn’t going to get us out of any of them without endangering our young men, our allies’ young men and the young men from those countries that fought at our side.

  48. @AACNY: But I bet any of the Democratic presidential candidates is capable of appointing a National Security Advisor! I'm ready to vote for a candidate who can do that.

  49. Well, as ever, it is clear to those who are sane and paying attention, that we are living in a nightmare, that we hope and pray will end. It's not that I rue the loss of Bolton. No, just that I rue the absence of anything remotely close to an even bad foreign policy. References to policy differences are absurd. Trump has no policy other than "I the Donald." It's beyond comprehension that people who are presumably somewhat educated (I'm speaking of folks elected to Congress), are still just ok sitting on their fat pads, pretending this is ok. I get that a lot of the electorate was bamboozeled, and are desperate to think they didn't make a huge, grave mistake. They did, obviously. But HEY CONGRESS! YOUTOOKANOATH!

  50. @AACNY I'm increasingly speechless. Facts, rational arguments and discussion are no match for triablism and propaganda. The U.S. is in a deep hole.

  51. "Mr. Bolton supported Mr. Trump’s worst instincts in leaving the deal that had constrained Iran’s nuclear program." ". . . .constrained Iran's nuclear program." Seriously? Have you been listening to the Israelis? Y'all are hopelessly, hopelessly lost. The only saving grace in all of this is that I think the public has grown weary of Trump's erratic nature, and Trump fatigue (and not the ceaseless wildly inaccurate wailings from mainstream media) will be his undoing.

  52. @Sam there was a time that I believed everything the Israeli government said, but this is Netanyahu and he is trying to frighten the Israelis into voting him into office with a majority. He has been trading lessons with trump and I don’t believe either one of them. I will believe Netanyahu when other third parties confirm him, but I doubt that will happen.

  53. Trump considers himself a contrarian, a rebel above the law. Such a person has no capacity for reality or commitment. To anyone or anything.

  54. Somewhere or other, I saw a video of Mr. Bolton sparring with an older (and wiser) British gentleman. The Brit (speaking calmly, dispassionately) pointed out the profound disconnect between Mr. Bolton's approach to the world-- --and the one favored by generations of American leaders. And Mr. Bolton? Grim-faced and shouting, almost from the get-go--no wonder Mr. Trump picked him. The gist was: we the BIG BOYS here. We STRONG. Nobody on the planet stronger than WE is. World, look out! We COMIN'! Gosh--he made me ashamed to be an American. AND NOW THAT HE'S GONE-- --chaos you said? Oh gosh, New York Times--there's more to it than that. WHO IN HIS RIGHT MIND-- --is gonna waste five minutes of his precious time, thinking that--yes, it IS possible to "make a deal with this man"? The Chinese (I have read) call him "volatile." YUH THINK? His word? Don't make me laugh. The man is shifty and unreliable to the nth degree. Not only that but-- --there is at least an outside chance he'll be turned out of office in 2020. Maybe. God grant! These world leaders may well expect that--okay! Let the dog have his day. Snarling and barking. There are wiser, more capable leaders waiting in the wings. PANTING for him to be gone. And those ballyhooed "deals of his"? Rubbish! Forget 'em! American foreign policy will go on--after Mr. Trump is but an irksome memory. But (for now) he plays the cards he has. Wild cards every one of 'em.

  55. @Susan Fitzwater - You got talent~!

  56. Bolton couldn't fiddle Trump like Putin, Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, Kim Jong-un or Rodrigo Duterte so out he went. Bolton's, and H. R. McMaster's mistake was thinking Trump would liken to them. Why would a very stable genius need any advise? Sadley the new guy/gal will be worse than Bolton...wait for it.

  57. Welcome to democracy, from the perspective of a pampered 5-year-old emperor. First his parents, now the Republican Party under the thumb of Mitch McConnell. It matters not who Trump pulls from the barrel's bottom to replace Bolton; this unfortunate will either be titled "Acting" National Security Advisor or will be shepherded through the Senate's semblance of vetting, McConnell style, and stamped "Approved." McConnell, remember, will not allow the Senate to vote on anything Trump has not told him he will sign. The Republicans in the Senate will vote according to McConnell's edict. Nothing is more dysfunctional than a family run by a kindergartner.

  58. @Glen NSA Director does not require $enate approval, explaining how both Mike Flynn and Bolton were able to hold the job.

  59. @Paul You are correct. But then, Trump has proven that he shouldn't be allowed access to the Oval Office bathroom without $enate's (your -and quite appropriate spelling-- OK.

  60. Agree with you on principal. However the National Security Advisor position does not require Senate confirmation nor does the Chief of Staff. The new occupant of the position will be acting just as Mick Mulvaney is. Remember that trump loves “acting” because it gives him more “flexibility.”

  61. The White House may be in turmoil, alliances may be trembling and adversaries may be seeking advantage, but that all just amounts to more drama, more suspense, more television coverage — all of it with Donald Trump at the center. That says it all in a nutshell! It's just like his rallies. There is an article in todays Times about the people attending his rallies. It is like Dead heads following the tour but completely without the joy. He needs to be the center of attention. He not only does not hate CNN, he loves it for the attention they pay to him. He is without morals or a compassionate bone in his body but his 40% will forgive him anything.

  62. Very likely true, Trump’s fertilizer is chaos. However, the Union of Concerned Scientists was able to turn back the clock on nuclear war by almost 5 minutes when Bolton left the building. We have learned to appreciate the small things

  63. Some red state comments here today stress that Trump has not taken us to war, hasn't gotten anyone's children killed. True, so far. Unlikely we'll have a Trump war, at least not before the next election. He watches and calculates too carefully his reelection chances to send Americans into war. However, that doesn't erase the chaos within his Administration or the weakening of essential pillars of our Constitution.

  64. @blgreenie Obama seriously weakened the US when banks were bailed out, but no bankers were held accountable, and the ordinary homeowners were left to sink. Obama did not have the courage to hold the CIA accountable for torture. So now it is acceptable. A torturer was Senate approved to head the CIA. Trump has not just killed anyone's children, he has not been responsible for the hundreds of thousands of deaths of Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans, Syrians, Yemeni, Somalis... or wrecked their countries... Though Trump's sanctions are hurting countries... Anti Trump hysteria is so tiresome, and dangerous, because it takes focus from the important issues. I wonder if that is the point.

  65. With his America first strategy, Trump wants the Saudi’s and Israelis to do all the dirty work. Meanwhile Syria is a wasteland, Yemen is almost as bad, and we’re not likely to get a satisfactory result in Afghanistan. Not all Trump’s fault, but nothing has been accomplished.

  66. What chaos? John Bolton's ouster says that Trump is at his best when he is not afraid to boot out a hawk from the Bush era. After the Bush and Obama era regime change wars, Trump sees American greatness not in military confrontation but in diplomacy and peace. What has America accomplished from armed conflict since world war II? Nothing but precious lost lives and a sky high national debt. A fair unbiased editorial board would have applauded the president for his peace efforts and controlling the war mongers in Washington. Before the end of Trump's first term, I would not be surprised if North Korea is on the path to nuclearization, Iran's president will have met Trump, the Taliban will negotiate with the Afghan government, there is a blue print for peace between the Palestinians and Israelis and terrorism will be close to being eradicated. Men and women will get in and out of this white house but what will endure is the search for peace and working relations with major world powers.

  67. @Girish Kotwal Except Trump is the person who appointed him?

  68. @Girish Kotwal " . . . the search for peace and working relations with major world powers." Great. Now name an administration that doesn't lay claim to that goal. The editors nailed it at "Trump clearly likes things this way." But then, so did Shakespeare. And Sondheim. Much ado, with nothing getting done. Send in the clowns.

  69. Unfathomable that you think this person is in anyway on a quest for peace. Diplomacy? No. Bolton wasn't foisted upon him by previous administrations. He was SELECTED by this person now dictating world events. Bolton wasn't a good choice when he was selected, and the person doing that selection is still incompetent.

  70. This editorial piece was obviously written with heartfelt relief:John Bolton's toxic options have been removed from the president'international agenda. Maybe president Macron's advice over a new initiative regarding Iran played a part in the president's decision. This shows more promise for mr Trump by bolstering his international record as he seeks reelection. As to what really happened to cause this abrupt exit, we need just consider the Taliban secret (secret like without John Bolton's knowledge) peace talks, then cancelled while their representatives were headed to the US (possibly with John Bolton having a say in that decision). Mr Bolton played a useful part during his tenure, allowing president Trump to test his own appetite for conflict and finding out he prefers trade to military wars. With John Bolton out, the world may breathe easier at least for now, and the president made to look like a peace maker.

  71. The Bolton firing demonstrates that Trump prefers chaos to making hard decisions. That has kept the US from blundering into additional wars. One can live with a certain amount of chaos as long as major catastrophes are avoided, thus it is good that Bolton is out. But there is no guarantee that a major foreign blunder can be avoided while Trump remains chaos-maker-in-chief.

  72. It may be a relief that someone like Bolton is gone, but this is becoming more and more like an Agatha Christie novel where everyone is destined to be ousted eventually. In this case, the only real question is who will be next, because from the beginning we already know the answer to who done it. [Hint: It's the one who doesn't want to hear whatever the next victim has to tell him, regardless of who and what it is he has to say.] My only hope at this point is that the story line continues until everyone, even the man at the top, is ousted. I know I'm dreaming, but since the Democrats are determined not to act, it's all I've got.

  73. @avrds You and so many others also have the VOTE, to stop the trend of "winners" basically by default of those who don't vote. The Republicans have fully exploited this trend, which I hope has begun to show a worthwhile turnaround in 2018.

  74. As a corollary the hiring and then firing of Mr. Bolton is again proof that Trump is not a manager, not by the wildest stretch of the imagination. Trump's supporters, in 2016 particularly, argued that he was manager of successful businesses and therefore well prepared to be a good President. Wrong on two counts. Not a manger and not successful. His bankruptcies and fake University have been reported widely. In addition, Trump has zero experience running a complex organization. He doesn't really trust anyone. He micromanages everything. He makes all decisions even if it means contradicting his support team. All he seems capable of is hiring people who are "loyal" which means supporting the mafia-like don at every turn. Lies or truth, legal or illegal, technically sound or an illogical superstition, just support Trump at all possible costs. That being the case, it makes little difference if Trump appoints a qualified human or a stuffed Panda bear. Just roll the Panda out at briefings and let Trump tell us yet again how he had the biggest inaugural crowds ever.

  75. Having an advisor implies a willingness not only to be advised, but also to occasionally accept that advice. It is clear that Donald Trump has no interest in being advised, preferring to listen instead to his inner voices, his 'instinct'. That these inner voices tend to hear only what he likes to hear - meaning anything that 'confirms' how smart he is or what a great negotiator he is - lead naturally to chaos. As for Bolton's replacement? My money is on Jared Kushner.

  76. Spot-on. Trump has always been the fundamental problem, period. Bolton has become yet another one of those people who have been apparently totally ignorant of the essential factor of Trump's personality features, and like all the other moths to that flame, has been burned by allowing himself to being drawn so close to Trump. Trump shows ample behavioral features of a serious, dangerous personality disorder, the primary feature being near total self-absorption and promotion. That promotion "trumps" all other considerations, even regarding his closest associates, the nation, Constitutionally, and the world. His mentality is totally unsuited for a world leader--more suited to a patient who needs behaviorally quarantined for protection from harm. It makes me wonder how much more evidence must actually be endured before the force of the rule of law is applied at least to make a determined effort to remove him. (At least Pence appears not having the same personality features.) Then we must vote all of the Republican enablers out. See www.dangerouscase.org for further insights.

  77. It should be noted that, in the midst of chaos and mismanagement, Trump has displayed an iota of sound judgment. Bolton's departure is a sign that Trump has limits on the recklessness of his national security agenda. Seeking a less dangerous North Korea is a worthy goal and Trump should be applauded for pursuing rapprochement. It is unfortunate that he is seeking it the wrong way. Another sign of rare pragmatism (and the possible cause of Bolton's departure) is Trump's announcement that he is open to talks with Iranian President Hasan Rouhani. The possibility of relations thawing between Washington and Tehran is greater than wringing a deal from the mercurial Kim Jong-un. The feather on Trump's foreign policy cap will not come from North Korea. But it can come from Iran. It would be less chaotic if the presisdent's next national security advisor can dare to think outside the neo-conservative box - just as Trump has proven that he can.

  78. @Nav Pradeepan That an action is taken that could have been the result of sound judgement doesn't mean that the action WAS the result of sound judgement. It is just as likely that Benedict Donald just got tired of looking at Bolton's moustache. Since we don't know the reason for Bolton's departure, we can draw no conclusions regarding the implications of the departure for the recklessness or the fecklessness of Trump's security agenda. If, indeed, such a thing exists.

  79. @Nav Pradeepan I cringe whenever I hear someone mention the phrase "worthy goals" and attribute them to Trump. What is Trump's impetus for these worthy goals? To make the world a safer place? Trump's only real goal is to keep his ego well fed.

  80. @Nav Pradeepan Of course, if we remember who created the icy relations with Iran in the first place, why would we think Trump deserves a feather in his cap for attempting to mend those relations? Trump might be able to think outside the neoconservative box, but unfortunately, he seems to think inside the proverbial black box whose workings no one can make sense of. Is irrational thinking better than neoconservative thinking?

  81. I was alarmed when Trump appointed Bolton as NSA to begin with but was not surprised when he was fired. It doesn’t matter who takes his place...Trump operates on his gut alone and will not take anyone’s counsel who might disagree with him. At the same time I’m happy that Bolton is gone. No telling what he might have talked Trump into doing. Back to Fox News, perhaps, where he can once again make noise but not influence action.

  82. America isn'i "less dysfunctional:" it's more unsafe. And I would not credit Trump with any goals, since everything he does is wasteful, ambiguous and/or contradictory. Process matters especially when the ends are vague.

  83. Wait a minute, Trump just fired John Bolton, isn't that something to be applauded? When Obama was in office the right could not credit him with anything, and now the left is doing the same thing. I, personally, am quite happy and relieved to see Bolton gone! We'll see who takes his place, but for the moment I give Trump some credit.

  84. @Bette Andresen - Trump hired him as well, knowing full well what Bolton stood for. Isn't the credit neutralized by the demerit of hiring him in the first place?

  85. There is no way to advise someone who refuses any advice other than his own. In the case of Bolton it’s no great loss, but the idea that the rest of government, down to our weather reports, cowers at his whim IS a great loss. It’s also a loss that the Senate bows so deeply in submission that it will only vote on his ideas. It has forsaken the concept of being a separate but equal part of our governance. Our nation can’t be run by one person and one person alone. But right now the Republican Party has no room for ideas beyond the president, many of whose ideas are focused strictly on insulting celebrities who dare disagree with him.

  86. @Joanna Probably you are right; however, he always has anyone who likes to "work in the White House" for a period and after that to write a book about his/her experience near the President.

  87. One of the best moves Trump has ever made. Let's hope the aftermath isn't worse.....but that's hard to imagine.

  88. The other way of looking at this would be that John Bolton may have been the only person around Trump who was not a yes-man. Deep down (or maybe not that deep....) Trump knows his limitations but keeps up the facade that all around him admire and adore him, and believe that he is the smartest on the block. However much one may disagree with Bolton, he definitely is smarter than Trump and he may not have had the "decency" of letting Trump believe otherwise. Bolton does not suffer the fools in North Korea, Iran and in Venezuela. Trump does.

  89. @Harry I disagree that Trump knows his limitations. People with the psychological condition he suffers from truly believe they are the smartest and that they know everything — better than the generals, better than this expert, better than that expert, better than anyone.

  90. @Maria Katalin Yep. The thing that amazes me is that people don't seem to be making the effort; courses, seminar, etc., to understand what we are dealing with. Reminds me of the way Americans push mental disorders under the bed generally. Consider the Trump family. This whole fiasco should never have happened. Blinders firmly in place!

  91. @Harry Bolton certainly knows more than trump (which is a pretty low bar). But smarter? Hard to say, he's the guy who never saw a war he didn't like. Is that smart?

  92. John Bolton managed to totally insult both Trump and Shinzō Abe during a recent formal dinner in Tokyo by not showing up. Apparently he had more important things to do than showing respect to two top leaders. That he wasn't fired that same night struck me as Trump being a very patient boss. Last night was the final straw.

  93. You can't be serious, rudolf, surely? Trump? Patient? I know three-year olds with more self-control. Speaking for myself, I'd have been relieved if Bolton hadn't shown up to a dinner I was attending. p.

  94. @rudolf who was the idiot that hired Bolton to begin with? It's not like he had any record of success with anything, sort of like Trump

  95. @rudolf Trump hired Bolton. Why? For what reason? Trump does not do his homework is the correct answer. He just guesses, or maybe uses a dart board. High card? Dice? Draw straws?

  96. Trump has no foreign policy experience or education to speak of. Even of he wants to achieve certain objectives he has no clue on how to do it. Diplomacy is not in him. Period. It's just too complex for his beligerant impatience. Bolten was a mistake from the beginning; A known entity as a super hawk and still he was appointed. Three National Security advisors in less than three years. This is just sad and horrible for our National Security.

  97. @Laura Really? Was too complex for the experts and seasoned diplomats of the past 30 years that gave us a nuclear powered North Korea. Once they have it how do u try and get him to give up? Trump tried fire and fury threats and the harshest sanctions for which he needed Russia and China to not veto and did that. Where it goes from here hard to tell but still better to get Kim out of his hermitage than not. Bolton was there to play devils advocate but not the final decision maker. Trump is not doing anything other than what he said during his campaign before the election.

  98. @Laura I wish to differ. He couldn't get into a graduate program about diplomacy or even read a book about it. Kissinger wrote and taught about diplomacy at Harvard University. What did he accomplish. Practically nothing. Was Obama qualified in any way as a diplomat. Trump didn't learn diplomacy in college but he did learn about making a deal. He even wrote about it. He knows these leaders from other nations in ways no one else can because of the projects he has been responsible for. I don't like him but you should not ignore his abilities.

  99. @Laura The Emperor has no clothes!

  100. Where is the Dem leadership decrying this chaos and selling the nation on this alone as a reason Mr. trump should not be re-elected? So much ammunition but nary a word.

  101. @caljn Maybe - just maybe (probably wishful thinking, but hey...) they decided to let him handle the negative PR on himself. He seems to be more than capable and willing to let everybody know that he's the absolute worst at everything. And maybe (again: probably wishful thinking) they plan to make their campaign *not* entirely about him? Because maybe (again... ah well.) they learned, by now, that if they focus on him that they're gonna loose. Because, I don't know, but to me it looks like nothing's stuck to this guy so far - hoping for this to change doesn't seem to be the smart bet, at this point.

  102. @caljn Yes...the dems have ALWAYS struggled to come up with EFFECTIVE strategy against the repubs. There have been enough examples in the past of how the R's have decimated D's. They should just copy the tactics that the Rs have used so effectively....at least the Ds would have REAL ammunition to throw at the Rs.... Its frustrating....

  103. @caljn The Democrats are following sage advice. When your opponent is destroying himself don't disturb him.

  104. Trump has seen some very competent and capable people exit, most of them military personnel, and there should be no tears shed for this man. Good riddance to John Bolton.

  105. Jared, this Administration’s “stealth weapon”, for his father-in-law’s fourth National Security Advisor! A proven team player, capable of speaking authoritatively on behalf of dear Dad, and who has already successfully mastered the intricacies of Middle East negotiations. Nepotism? Sure, but when your back is against the wall you go with the best.

  106. Trump promise not kept, hiring the best and brightest. The more slavish the praise the better the chance of avoiding a knife in the back. The disaster was hiring Bolton. Did Trump mute his Fox News during Bolton's many appearances? It seems a clue when Trump referred to Michael Bolton instead of John. Call it what it is a circus complete with clowns.

  107. His greatest skill, the one he was most skilled at, was firing people. A skill honed on a TV show. Survivor White House Advisor. I predict Ivanka will win.

  108. After the elections we will know a few things. 1. How sick the country really, truly is. I understand that 60 million folks were fully conned by the greatest grifter in American History. But are they still truly going to back this man? All 60 million? How sick are we as a country. If we Trump is re-elected the country is effectively lost. 2. The fragility of Democracy. This greatest of nations, this promise of freedom fulfilled. Will it die on the back of a re-elected neo-fascist? If Trump is re-elected, Democracy world-wide will be crippled if not toppled. 3. Biblical Prophecy revealed? Climate Change is not "god" driven. It is human-driven. Yet, indeed, Apocalypse is upon us. If Trump is re-elected Apocalypse will be accelerated dramatically. 4. Proof of the Simulation? Recent philosophy has seriously proposed a simulation theory - that we are but a simulation created by an advanced civilization. How else to explain the Orange time-bomb in the White House. How else? If Trump is re-elected, the virus more or less wins.

  109. "Defenestration" is a colorful word — a favorite of mine, in fact, along with "revanchism" — but it's a bit of a stretch. John Bolton isn't dead. And his leap from the White House is neither suicide nor murder. I don't worry about Bolton because I am confident that he's already landed in a safety net: the offers of visiting scholar at conservative think tanks, and guest commentator on cable-news stations are no doubt already in hand. After a "decent interval" (in Frank Snepp's immortal words), Bolton will resume his career of bellicose, belligerent, warmongering, but the drumbeats will come — once again — from outside the government. Same tune, different audience.

  110. In firing Bolton, Trump just wanted to reaffirm that he is the BOSS and Bolton is more like a self styled leader. If Trump succeeds in denuclearize Korean peninsula without any bloodshed, it is sure he will be reelected in 2020 Presidential election and may well get Nobel Prize with Kim.

  111. Dear Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Mnuchin, Your names are now also on the wall for future deliberations or arbitrary whims. There is no way to be loyal supporter or loyal advocate for such an aberration as Donald Trump. Hopefully he will pull his own house down but not ours.

  112. We should be careful not to confuse this Presidency with a real Presidency. Just because the Presidency is technically occupied by an accident of voter suppression, voter apathy, Russian hijinks and the American voters' toddler-like inability to distinguish between TV and reality, this Presidency is not as much a Presidency as it is an incredibly awful. John Bolton played the role of deranged National Security Adviser as well as he could. Another unqualified and disturbed NSA actor will be hired to increase the ratings by shining the light on the Impostor-In-Chief as this awful show enters cancellation season.

  113. The Trump's government shows clear signs of schizophrenia: incongruity of its motivations, moods, thoughts, and behaviors. Paranoia and loss of reality are everywhere, and many of the government's behaviors are goalless, disorganized, and self-conflicting.

  114. Trump's tweet firing Bolton had one key tell - Trump did not like Bolton for disagreeing with him too many times. Trump wants people around him who will yes him to death. (Would that that metaphor could actually happen.) That means being able to guess whatever Trump wants to hear is a job requirement for success. It's only going to get worse as Trump becomes increasingly frantic, between polls and events.

  115. "The White House may be in turmoil, alliances may be trembling and adversaries may be seeking advantage, but that all just amounts to more drama, more suspense, more television coverage — all of it with Donald Trump at the center." This sums it up perfectly. It's like watching a train wreck in slo-mo.

  116. Can we at least drop this conceit that Trump thrives on "chaos?" 1. Trump is not thriving. 2. Chaos is simply the byproduct of a lack of plans and preparation. That Trump remains last man standing is due to his standing as president, or head of a family company or protagonist of a make-believe TV show.

  117. @Art I disagree. Look at the historical analogy of Hitler. Hitler deliberately made sure no one else was comfortable, that there were lots of competing organizations and interests, to make sure that no one person or group could accumulate enough power to be a threat. trump does exactly the same thing. He really does thrive on chaos.

  118. We have our own DMZ. A demoralized zone. It encompasses all of DC and has spread to much of the nation.

  119. The most important characteristic a President must have is his (or her) ability to evaluate and select people who will be charged with responsibility within the Administration. No President can arrive well-informed about every relevant issue. Therefore it is critically important that a President choose reliably knowledgeable people to provide information and execute policy. Given the very high rate of turnover in Trump's Administration, both voluntary and forced, it is clear that President Trump lacks the ability to evaluate, choose, and retain the people who are absolutely necessary for the safety and well-ordered functioning of our country.

  120. We need a way to prepare a President-elect to take the reigns of office. Suppose the interval from the election date to the inauguration was set at four years. And during this four-year interval the President-elect was the recipient of mandatory schooling to learn to be the President. This idea is not so far fetched. There are models for training leaders. I had a distant maternal relative, Christian Goldbach, who was given the job of creating a curriculum for members of the Russian royalty in the late 1700s. His prescribed coursework was taught for 100 years. (Just a thought.)

  121. The American Physical Society rotates its elected leaders through various positions on a schedule so that when they reach the top they are ready.

  122. What John Bolton's ouster says about this "president" is that he will do literally anything to consolidate absolute power. For the past three years Trump has done nothing but hire any number of military men, hawks, and sycophants who were, at least for a time, willing to toady to him. And he used them like cheap violins. He let them take the heat for his disastrous foreign policy, and propped them up to hide behind when it served his interests. Three years on, Trump now understands that he answers to literally no one. He has not filled the empty cabinet seats in his "administration" - nor does he intend to. These former members, his "useful idiots" played their role - and after they did, Trump discarded them like cheap dishrags. Now he understands that he has the Senate as a "show parliament" and a Supreme Court with five members who will toady to his every whim. He knows this means that he is literally untouchable. He is limited only by his imagination and the laws of physics. This supposedly "independent" Supreme Court has kowtowed to him for his Muslim Ban and for his ridiculous "wall". His threats have already started - such as those against the NOAA employee for doing something as benign as telling the truth. As for the rest of Trump's cabinet? They are simply stand-in players for the rest of us - symbols to show us that Trump may do anything he likes to any of us. Bolton's ouster is nothing more than this "president" reminding us that we answer to him personally.

  123. @Donegal Yes, but for all the presumed power, how does he wield it? Mostly to tear things down, withdraw from treaties, and commandeer DoD budget to build a senseless wall. Those actions are not the manifestation of power in a democracy.

  124. @Donegal No Trump apologist am I, but I think it a stretch to jump from the release of the scowling, cantankerous John Bolton to a Trumpian "absolute consolidation of power". I agree with the Editorial Board about the sense of chaos with these firings, but I don't believe there is some nefarious cabal happening. That scenario would suggest a patient thoughtfulness, and reasoning, and those attributes are not present in the White House

  125. @A Imagine the danger we'd be in if he had a clue, process or real agenda other than racism

  126. The Comments section of any article used to contain ,maybe 20%,defending Trump. Now it is essentially Zero, I hope this is a good sign.

  127. Maybe the chaos rests in the polluted & corrupt Washington veterans that others believe are experts. They’ve been there for decades, ‘leading’ us to isolation & $22 trillion of debt. There are no capable & honest statesman in Washington DC. Instead we just have a gaggle of hookers & johns, with a few cockroaches & parasites for the side show.

  128. The American president is a fool. The American president is incompetent. The American president is dangerously disturbed. His personality and character makeup were on full display long before he began his unpatriotic assault upon an American president. America then proceeded to elect Donald Trump as its president. We knew who and what he was. Enough of us did not care. The fly saw the spider and flew into its web anyway. That Donald Trump is the American president says more about us than it does him. He’s not to blame. We are.

  129. It sounds like you are unhappy that Trump isn’t plunging us into yet another regime change operation in Venezuela. In general you seem upset that he isn’t a more competent, steady sort of warmonger.

  130. But till yesterday, John Bolton was immersed in this "chaos"... How he accepted to be part of the the "chaos" for long time?

  131. Isn't this the person that said he only hires the best people? You'd be crazy to hire DT to run your HR department.

  132. “I know better than my generals.” — Donald J. Trump, multiple draft dodger with proven small hands and unproven bone spurs It’s either Jared or Ivanka who will fill the shoes of Bolton. That’s how third world dictators roll. My bet is on Jared as Ivanka will be Trump’s running mate in the polls. (Attention Mike Pence, it’s just Trump 2020 now and your name is nowhere in sight.) The amazing thing to behold is that the number of presidential appointees kicked out of the White House is already at 69, a turnover that is bigger than a local McDonald’s at the end of summer. Now, the good news about Ivanka being the new security advisor is that her vetting will go smoothly with Putin. Keep ‘Merica Great!

  133. @Opinioned! My guess is that trumpovitch will be saving Ivanka for 2024. He'll follow the path of a lot of dictators and put up a show of obeying the terms limits while having Ivanka run for President and be his puppet. Sound impossible? Really??

  134. let's be real. Trump is only looking to score another hit on Obama. He wants that Nobel.

  135. John Bolton always thought himself the smartest man in the room. Never popular among those who worked with him. Bolton came out early in favor of Trump's so-called policy ideas (these policies actually do not exist and never have). Was he looking for a job? That appears to be the case given Trump's hiring criteria - loyalty and royal behind kissing. What Bolton learned (while continuing to consider himself the smartest man in the room) is that Trump, the single most ignorant bigot and narcissist alive, is that Trump could care less about what Bolton knew or thought he knew. Bolton was a prop like everyone else in Trump world. Meanwhile, Trump's father Fred was arrested at a Klu Klux Klan meeting, lied about being German, pretending to be Swedish, whose mother's maiden name was Christ. Fred did not rent to blacks and Woody Guthrie wrote a song, a tenant of Fred's wrote a song about the Trump bigotry and racism. Make sense?

  136. Speaking of Kaos, that crowd would make Siegfried and Starker look like a couple of ruthlessly cunning operatives.

  137. It doesn't matter who is Trump's National Security Advisor,, since he has no notion of the nation , its security or foreign policy.. Far more dangerous is Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. We need another Gail Collins column with him in the rnning for worst Cabinet secretary

  138. But the Editorial Board does not stand innocent of its last paragraph charge of involvement. Is there no way for the Fourth Estate to recover from this presidency to its esteemed role in society?

  139. . . . and the republican congress is where?

  140. This is an ominous trio that will persist: Trump, Pompeo, and the next National Security Adviser. It is a fool's errand to think Bolton's replacement will do anything to stabilize chaotic and ineffective policies re our national protection and safety and international interactions. And the Republicans use to and continue to impugn President Obama? If this weren't such an absurd exercise, it would be laughable. Where do we start with this group? North Korea, Afghanistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, all of these have been diplomatic disasters which have only threatened our democracy, or rather what is left of it. Add to the mix the alienating of our European allies. It is looking clearer daily: Trump will listen to no one. His entire political life revolves around his pathological ego and profound ignorance. It is one thing after another, one more egregious act after another. And no one can rein him in. Correction: No one WILL rein him in. Pathetic and disgraceful.

  141. “No matter who advises this president, chaos will reign.” What else is there to say? The president is like the the saying “a chain is only as good as it’s weakest link” and Trump is the weak link certainly. Trump is the leopard that can’t(won’t) change his spots. He does not want anyone else to get credit. Trump mostly gets ridicule. He deserves it.

  142. I really fear that Trump will either bumble into or deliberately wade into a war with a nation (take your pick) so the nation in its dimwitted state will elect him to finish the war.

  143. I would not be surprised if the drumbeat starts before the end of the year or early next year. Maybe an occupation of Greenland? Not sure if Dear Leader has the stomach for another protracted conflict elsewhere in the world.

  144. Keep everybody off balance. Friends and enemies alike.That is how Trump ran his real estate company.That is his modus operandi.How long can America and the world survive the erratic and unhinged Trump style?

  145. @Milton Lewis Reagan was the beginning of the end. This guy is the end

  146. 18 people have come and gone in trump's inner circle. All that in less than two years! Is that a great accomplishment, or someone who actually thinks he is the second coming of Caesar? This farce of a president is a clear and present danger to the U.S. and its interest. He never takes responsibility for anything, but blames and fires his minions. In jolly Old England they simply would lop of heads. Another way of looking at it is a one ring circus, and his own party is afraid of him. Even the career politicians! Is it the money string the billionaires pull who thank trump for the tax breaks that they throw at repubs to cower, at the nation's expense?

  147. It's a fundamental law of political magnetism: bad presidents attract bad advisors.

  148. Why should the president hire anyone to fill this position? As a self-described extremely stable genius who knows more than the generals, there is no need for Trump to bring on another individual who lasts 15 months (at most) and then find him/herself out of a job by either agreeing too much with Trump or disagreeing with him (or Jared and Ivanka) too much. If Trump insists on filling the position, then the final screening committee should include his media (kitchen) cabinet of Hannity, Carlson, Coulter and Limbaugh. They, Jared and Ivanka are the real power behind Trump's throne. But don't take my word for it. Just ask Tillerson, McMaster, Mattis, Haley, Sessions, Kelly, Priebus, Nielsen, et al.

  149. For the man in the Oval Office, it’s his own version of the the Highlander franchise. In the end, there can be only Trump.

  150. And yet through it all: no new wars, no new conflicts, and many olive-branches towards peace with some of the world's most dangerous and reviled entities --- NK, the taliban, Iran (where the President displayed great restraint,) etc... Add in our newly-restored military which is the most powerful in the world, and, the end MORE than justifies the means. I always liked and respected JB and it pains me to see his expertise depart. But, it would appear thus far, there may be alternative approaches in certain hot-spots that may generate (possible) more peaceful outcomes, or in the least, a de-escalation of violence and threats to Western Civ.

  151. The most consequential threat to “western civ” is this administration’s willful ignoring of our technological assault on the planet’s biosphere. Alignments with tinpot dictators whose egos hold sway over our future’s air, water, sustainability is not an accomplishment. It is a crime against humanity. Trump cannot and will not see the reality of anything except money.

  152. We should be celebrating the firing of Mr. Bolton. He is responsible for killing the INF treaty. He was proposing to go into war against Iran, intervening in Venezuela, defending unilateralism, building more nuclear bombs, and others. The best new we got in some time.

  153. @J. Parula I agree, and after each of all the people who have been fired or quit there is always someone worse taking their place.

  154. But the firing of John Bolton was a good move for the wrong reasons. Under any assessment of Bolton's record past and more recent, he should not only be fired, but indicted for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity. But his firing should be an opportunity to ask the important questions that we never seem to get answers for. And not just from Trump, Bolton or Pompeo. America has been at war for 19 years. Why? Why have we spread the illegal Iraqi war into Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen? Why have we attempted to expand war and conflict to Iran and Venezuela? Why has the "Asian pivot" prepared America for war with China? When are we going to have a national dialogue about those "national interests" that are always used to justify these wars? There are powerful interest in Washington that discuss these issues all the time. But they do so mostly behind closed doors or conferences that are seldom covered by the media. Yet, we are scheduled to spend nearly a trillion dollars on military and military related costs this year, 8,000 troops remain in Afghanistan, thousands more are deployed in the Middle East and Africa, and the CIA is very busy in country's like Columbia and Venezuela. Making war is the most serious act of a nation. This is why that power was entrusted to congress, not a president. And in a democracy congress is supposed to report to the people. After 19 years I'm still waiting for that report.

  155. Once more Mr. Trump has become unhappy with too much media attention on one of his people, regardless of the nature of the attention (positive or negative). To him, that is unacceptable, as he consider himself to be the only one deserving to be the center of attention of media as well as everything else.

  156. From this description, nobody has any real power to do anything, without taking it to Trump, and none of them even know for sure what Trump will do when they take it to him. That is chaotic. It does not make for any sustained policy on anything. However, it makes Trump as powerful as possible. He ran his businesses the same way. They may have gone into bankruptcy, but he remained firmly in charge. This method is known to history, for other leaders who used it. None good ones to whom anybody would want comparison.

  157. Trump ran on his agenda. Unfortunately, finding conservatives willing to meet his campaign promises is hard. He should not delegate policy decisions to people with their own agendas. This president is determined to keep his promises to the people who elected him. He has filled positions of policy with people who had their own existing agendas, recommended by other conservative advisors. He should fire everyone that has different goals. They weren’t elected to do the same things promised by other politicians in the past. He shouldn’t rely on hawks of the past as his advisors. Trump shouldn’t compromise. Advice is one thing, but disagreeing on the most critical decisions is another. Advisors should explain options, and the consequences, not determine the policies of the president. Until he can find people committed to his agenda, he should continue to replace advisors with agendas to form policies he got elected to achieve. It will take another four years to drain the swamp. Trump will find the right people. It is just taking more time to find capable people who have spent their lives there.

  158. It’s funny. Trump isn’t successful because he hasn’t found the right representatives to carry out his elected agenda. Well it’s been 3 years and it’s chaos. More excuses. Worst human being and American President ever.

  159. Do you mean find capable minions to complement the Trump regime?

  160. Laughable. So you are saying trump filled the swamp that he is draining? Your boy chose each of the people he ended up pretending to fire by tweet. Your boy promised he knew all the best people. Where did all the Generals go? Nonsense.

  161. The supposition has been to discern what overall plan with some sort of reasonable logic involved is it that drives President Trump in his actions. If there is anything consistent and obvious in his moves it is in the elements of surprise and shock that keeps the attention of the world and the nation as a bright spotlight of attention on Trump alone. There is no question as to the overall direction of his efforts which is to greatly worsen the possibilities for the world’s future for general human decency and rational function. But there is no doubt that, as a frightening showman, he keeps the world watching.

  162. The last paragraph of this piece sums up our national predicament, well: This person, acting as the leader of a nation, utilizes chaos in a constant, ham fisted way to continually flummox any and all who try to keep up, the ultimate goal being to keep the focus firmly on himself. Tragically for the fate of our now fragile democracy, it’s working for him.

  163. Trump wants to do as he wants and in his mind does not even need advisors. He is, after all, "a stable genius," "the chosen one."

  164. The primary objective of every Trump appointee is to destroy the agency that they work for. Bolton was no exception.

  165. Saying that, "No matter who advises this president, chaos will reign" is something of a syllogism. You might as well say, "In a tornado, there will be wind." Any analysis of the President's relationship with his advisers must presume a simple clinical fact. Narcissists -- whether or not they cross the DSM-V's boundary into full-blown Personality Disorder -- perceive any offers of help or advice as attacks. Advice for or (heaven help us) criticism of narcissists directly contradicts the very core of their self-image -- complete infallibility. As a result, this President's advisers are never off a tightrope under which there is no net. We have seen it over and over again. In order to fulfill their jobs' purpose, they must constantly do the thing that most enrages him. Try to imagine a job where you go to work every day, do your job flawlessly, and, in doing so, completely infuriate your boss.

  166. @Sagebrush A perfect illustration of trump's "personality disorder" is "Sharpiegate". The Birmingham office of the NWS issued a correction of trump's statement that Hurricane Dorian was heading towards Alabama because worried people were calling them, re. necessary preparations. (IT WAS A PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUE.) But trump refuses to admit his error (he was looking at old charts and briefs from before the hurricane made a turn) and keeps dwelling on it. HE CANNOT EVER ADMIT HE MADE A MISTAKE.

  167. Trump is at "the center" because he is host of the show. Despots like Kim Jong Un make good "celebrity" co-hosts. Trump wants his staff to be loyal to him in his role as show host, and the script must reflect a win for Trump, and good press for Trump.

  168. Better Trumpian 'chaos' then the predictable, reliable and constant war-making brought to us by pre-Trump foreign policy and singed-off on by the well-functioning National Security Council. As Trump continues to keep us out of unnecessary and costly wars abroad, it is harder and harder to begrudge his foreign policy. The results speak for themselves. And it could have been so much worse.

  169. Well, I guess that’s one way to look at it. Keep in mind that there’s still over a year left in this presidency for the chaos to lead to new international conflicts. The only reason it hasn’t happened yet is because world leaders are confused about what US policy and direction truly are. As am I.

  170. Mr Bolton had fixated opinions on Iran, Taliban ,EU etc . He has been a disaster on foreign policy of the US . But what was the POTUS doing? Trump as the President is supposed to seek opinions from advisors , then apply his mind and function as the head of a responsible democratic country. Instead what we got from Trump was a man of shallow understanding of most affairs of the world. Anything he touched turned out wrong. He aligned with Saudi regime, despot Kim , Russia and countless people in the US who are now inside prisons all of which for sensible people looks unlike what America stood for. I don't think a course correction will be seen from this President. Which brings the decision making to the citizens of America how to get back to the roots of democracy.

  171. I'm sure glad he fired John Bolton and that he's out of the way. He was a dangerous figure to have around. It is him that needed bounding. Whatever effect he may or may not have had on Trump, his hand in foreign policy was deleterious. I'm applaud his parting, however it took place.

  172. Trump always blames someone else when his negotiations fail. Who will Trump blame when his trade negotiations with China break down? Xi Jinping will demand more than he concedes, and since he doesn't have to worry about reelection, people's suffering won't be that big a factor for him.

  173. Agreed, but doesn't Trump / Pompeo / Bolton (particularly the fact that Pompeo and Bolton rarely spoke) serve as an indictment of what the role of National Security Advisor has become? Although the word is in the title, shouldn't job the National Security Advisor be to act as an honest, neutral broker who brings together the information and recommendations provided by the State Department, National Security and the military -- pointing out where they agree and where they differ and, when necessary, helping bring them to consensus? Bolton was never right for the job because he has such strong and unwavering opinions but he isn't unique and the way he was used (and ultimately ignored then fired) is not unique to Trump. But it seems like the country would be better served if the position was returned to its original intent -- something that certainly will have to wait until Trump is no longer in office.

  174. "The least interesting is the question of who will succeed him on the parapet". Actually, this is not the least interesting question, for several reasons: First, will Trump be able to find someone to take Bolton's place? Second, since Trump doesn't, himself, come up with the names of people to serve as his advisers, will whoever in the innermost circle of the Trump menagerie (Kushner, Miller?) decided that hiring Bolton would be a great idea learn from that mistake? Third, how much input, if any, will Mike Pompeo have during the process of hiring Bolton's replacement, and what will that hiring process say about Pompeo's power? Fourth, what odds will the Las Vegas bookmakers be giving on (1) how long it will take to find Bolton's replacement, and (2) whether Bolton's replacement will last longer than 6 months?

  175. Many pundits are saying that, despite his abhorrent views, Bolton was right this time when he opposed negotiating with the Taliban at Camp David. Well, a broken clock is right twice a day, so Bolton, who always opposed negotiations and peaceful solutions to everything, came out right on this one. Don't regret losing a national security advisor who ached for the opportunity to go to war.

  176. Wouldn't it be simpler, more economical and equally efficacious, to immediately fire the entire remaining (faux) Cabinet and swear in cardboard cut-outs with Sharpie-drawn faces?

  177. "No matter who advises this president, chaos will reign." Very true. This president is no president. He is literally a TV show, "Center of Attention." The show plays nonstop 24/7. "Center of Attention" writes his own scripts on Twitter with only one objective: what will grab an audience by their ....? Many in the audience are reveling in delight. They are thrilled with the epidemic dysfunction. With each episode they laugh with derision at the latest member of the administration to be skewered. They look forward to who's next. They are immensely proud of how "Center of Attention" is making America great...great bully, great meanness, great foil to decency and on and on... Many more hate this show with a passion. But are unable to escape being part of the audience. (Thank you GOP.) We have all been grabbed by our.... We are being violated by "Center of Attention," while the GOP laughs at us and the Constitution. Chaos is only a plot technique on the "Center of Attention" show. So yes, no matter who advises "Center of Attention," chaos will reign. It's good for his ratings.

  178. This is NOT about chaos. This is about Trump trying to work a deal with our enemies. If Bolton was obstructionists in his attitude he deserves to go. What the heck if Trump can work a deal with the Taliban, North Korea, and Iran, why not? No one has ever had the courage or the willingness to meet with our enemies and try to work a deal. It's too bad that people make a career out of blindly criticizing Trump no matter what he does. If they would let him do his job great things would happen.

  179. @Louis No one is stopping him from doing his job. On the contrary. All his deals fall apart. He doesn't have the attention span or stamina, even for an American leader.

  180. @Louis I too believe that Mr. Trump has tried to "work deals" with our enemies - but I am apparently more concerned than you are about the types of deals he wants to work. I'm thinking, Russia? But even if he truly has the intent to try to bring peace to troubled areas of the world, why would he not try to learn more about who the leaders are, the history of the conflicts, etc. so that he would know what he is up against. Why not consult with the best minds and most knowledgeable people before rushing in? You believe that he is being prevented from accomplishing things. It seems to me that he gets in his own way a great deal by making impulsive decisions (e.g. tweeting insults) and not approaching situations with the proper diplomacy. Then, when things fall apart, he loses interest and/or fires someone. This is not effective leadership.

  181. @Louis; Who has not "let Trump do his job"? Who is stopping him? No one is able to rein Trump in. So what has Trump got to show from nearly three years in office in terms of international relations? Three years of negotiations with NK, for what? Eighteen months negotiations with the Talaban, for what? Three years talk about Syria, Iran, Cuba, for what? Please tell me who is this incredible person or people are who are stopping Trump from doing great things.

  182. Trump's not interested in advice that is seen by others as advice. In his mind, it shows weakness. Stephen Miller knows this and has survived. Others, not so much. There's no room on stage for anyone else. It's too threatening for one with terminal insecurity.

  183. Donald Trump will never change. This editorial correctly states in its concluding sentence that “[This] just amounts to more drama, more suspense, more television coverage — all of it with Donald Trump at the center.” We should be glad to see John Bolton gone – the reckless firebrand has no business holding any position of power in the government. The fundamental problem remains. We have a self-absorbed president with an inability or impatience to grasp complex issues and an irresistible need to be the heroic lone gunslinger bringing order and justice out of the chaos he has created. Donald Trump also appears to be a very corrupt man who has chosen to partner with other corrupt men like Vladimir Putin, Benjamin Netanyahu and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud. The Saudi leader is particularly relevant today when we recall the Wahhabi extremists who planned the attacks of September 11, 2001, and selected, trained and financed the young men who executed those terrible attacks.

  184. As much as I am generally horrified by Trump and his policies, I give him credit for not blowing up the world, (yet).

  185. In terms of "advising this president"— Here is an ultimate truth regarding Trump: No matter who "briefs" or "advises" or "informs" him, Trump remains uninformed. Profoundly uninformed.

  186. @Fortitudine Vincimus. Your statement “our newly restored military which is the most powerful in the world” displays your total ignorance of the reality that the US has, for decades, spent more on its military than the next seven or nine countries COMBINED, and has since World War II been the most powerful military on the planet. You have fallen for the empty rhetoric of politicians and arms manufacturers who hope to gain power and profit by stoking fears that the US military is falling into disrepair. Our military failures since WWII have been failures of vision and leadership, not of military power. Trump’s “newly restored military” can’t win in the Middle East and Southwest Asia any more than the military that came before. The problem isn’t troops or hardware, it’s strategy and leadership. Trump possesses neither, and refuses to listen to those who do.

  187. You are so right on with your comments!

  188. Are there any adults willing to be in the same room?

  189. @JMT They are all adults. Adults that will split hairs over moral issues, twist their integrity into knots, and find honesty just another burden to jettison.

  190. Bolton is just the latest, and surely not the last, body summarily tossed out The White House window into its burgeoning political graveyard. As much as I didn't like Bolton's hawkish views, his firing shows that Trump's narcissism can only tolerate sycophants and "yes men/women."  A "team of rivals" offering differing points of view never will be found near Donald Trump for very long where disagreement amounts to disloyalty, to disapproval and ultimately to discharge. And, that is why the chorus of groupthinkers now surrounding an erratic, unstable Trump is more and more a disaster waiting to happen.

  191. Trump wants a win on diplomacy to bolster his re-election. Trump wants a Nobel Peace Prize because Obama has one. Other than that, he cares nothing about any of these deals much less the details of them. He may fall into a deal somewhere with some adversary but it won't be because there was a well executed plan.

  192. How Trump's base bought the myth that Trump was a brilliant businessman is beyond me. This guy could take a McDonald's into bankruptcy.

  193. much like the child that he is, trump eventually gets bored with the toys that no longer amuse or interest him. he now reigns supreme over the toy box of our foreign policy, filled with the toys that he broke because he couldn't understand how they work.

  194. I think Mr. Bolton's mistake was thinking that the president was interested in what was happening in the world aside from the way in which is supported his image and desire to get re-elected. While I probably disagree with most of the positions that Mr. Bolton holds, I do think he was trying to do the job, which he was unable to do because the job he was hired for (to make the president look good) was not the job he tried to do.

  195. Trump's like a library patron who pulls books from the shelf because he likes the dust cover, begins reading them, finds them most uncongenial, slams them shut and returns them to the library only to repeat the process on his next visit to the library.

  196. Trump hired Bolton for two reasons: He was on FOX. He was hated by Democrats. As time passed, Trump noticed two things: Bolton was no longer on FOX. Democrats were hoping Bolton would be the adult in the room, all other adults being long gone. No reasons remained for having Bolton in the administration.

  197. Well expressed, but you failed to mention that the POTUS has the support of millions of American voters who will gladly vote for him because in their eyes he can do no wrong.

  198. A good move Mr. President. The only thing wrong is that apparently he will be replaced by the only person in this country that could possibly be a worse national security advisor, the Donald himself.

  199. You are giving Trump too much credit. Bolton and Trump are the product of Republican engineering. Today is the 18th anniversary of 911. W dropped the ball and used the pretense to the score for daddy - he might have believed in Cheney but his reliance on the latter in the early years of his tenure was entirely his choice! - when senior Bush and Clinton had the foresight to let it slide. The neocons wanted the wars and the tea partiers and their predecessors wanted money. They got them both, in spite of the peace dividend America had enjoyed under Clinton because of the cultural reactionaries. Bolton and Trump don't come from a vacuum. Their coming and going belong to a greater mosaic of how the Republicans and their enablers have wrecked this country. People should understand that

  200. Who's the lesser of two evils this time? Bolton or Trump? The former is just the latest casualty in an embarrassing, ongoing series of 'leadership' fiascos. The latter is the cause. Dissent has no place in today's administration. Love it or leave it. But just make sure it's your choice not his, as Secretary Mattis did. Let's do everything we can to reverse this dysfunction that's destroying our democracy as soon as we can. Vote.

  201. What has this paper and Democrats come down to? In order to criticize Trump they are willing to decry Bolton's ouster? Is this madness? Are they standing by Bolton now in order to hit Trump? We are heading down a cliff.