Trump says he’s considering 5 candidates to replace Bolton

By Deb Riechmann and Zeke Miller | AP |

US President Donald Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Wednesday he’s looking at five individuals to become his fourth national security adviser to replace John Bolton, the hawkish diplomat who clashed with the president on global challenges, especially Iran and North Korea.

“John wasn’t in line with what we were doing,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

Trump insisted that he had a good relationship with Bolton, but also said, “He wasn’t getting along with people in the administration that I consider very important.”

“I hope we’ve left in good stead,” Trump said. “Maybe we have and maybe we haven’t.”

Trump did not name the five candidates, saying only that they were “highly qualified.” Deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman, a former Reagan administration official and defense contracting executive, is running the National Security Council on an acting basis. Trump said he would name a replacement for Bolton next week.

On Wednesday, at least three longtime Bolton aides resigned from the NSC staff: spokesman Garrett Marquis, adviser Sarah Tinsley and his scheduler Christine Samuelian.

Since joining the administration in the spring of last year, Bolton has been skeptical about the president’s whirlwind rapprochement with North Korea, and recently has become a vocal internal critic of potential talks between Trump and leaders of the Afghan Taliban and Iran.

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