John Bolton Reportedly ‘Sidelined’ by Trump Admin on Afghanistan: Has ‘Irritated’ POTUS
White House national security adviser John Bolton is apparently being “sidelined” by the Trump administration on Afghanistan amid discussions of a potential peace deal.
There’s been some reporting this year about the hawkish Bolton losing some standing with President Donald Trump. The Washington Post said earlier this year Trump was “frustrated” with Bolton on Iran, while the New York Times saidTrump “makes no secret” of his dislike of Bolton in private.
Now the Post reveals that Bolton — who’s opposing the peace deal being worked out — has essentially been sidelined on Afghanistan policy, to the point where he was not allowed to view the draft agreement by himself when he requested it:
His opposition to the diplomatic effort in Afghanistan has irritated President Trump, these officials said, and led aides to leave the National Security Council out of sensitive discussions about the agreement…
In a recent standoff, Bolton asked for a copy of the draft agreement the United States is trying to strike with the Taliban. But the U.S. envoy leading the negotiations, Zalmay Khalilzad, denied the request, saying Bolton could read the agreement in the presence of a senior official but not leave with it in hand, U.S. officials said. One official said the incident infuriated Bolton while another downplayed it, saying the draft was eventually sent to the National Security Council staff.
One anonymous senior administration official said Bolton’s team “has a reputation for losing and leaking.” Bolton responded in a statement saying, “I categorically deny leaks by me or anyone authorized to speak to the press. Those alleging such leaks should look in the mirror.”
You can read the full report here.