White House offers several narratives on National Security Adviser John Bolton’s exit

White House offers several narratives on National Security Adviser John Bolton’s exit


THE WHITE HOUSE – At 11:55 Tuesday morning, the White House Press Office issued an updated Daily Guidance saying there would be a press briefing with Secretary Mike Pompeo, Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and National Security Adviser John Bolton in the Brady Press Room in the White House at 1:30 PM. Three minutes later, President Donald Trump tweeted:

Then Bolton, an experienced and savvy Washington operator, fought back with an immediate counter-narrative:

At 1:30 p.m., Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin took to the White House lectern without Bolton to say there are no policy divisions within The White House.

Pompeo offered a pithy narrative:

(AUDIO: John Bolton offered his resignation and the president received it.) 4:22

Then Pompeo was asked a follow-up question on differing policy divisions, he said:

(AUDIO: 5:19 We have some normal differences and work together.)

They were then asked if Bolton’s retirement was due to differences on Iran. Mnuchin said:

(AUDIO: 6:09 We continue our maximum pressure policy on Iran. It is absolutely working.)

Pompeo was asked if Trump would meet with Iranian leadership:

(AUDIO: The president is prepared to meet with no preconditions.) 6:24

Then a reporter said that the White House’s Daily Guidance had Bolton on the schedule and asked if he was blindsided by Trump’s tweet. Pompeo replied:

(AUDIO: I’m never surprised!) 7:00

Doug Christian, The White House

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