Incoming national security adviser John Bolton is poised to make policy and personnel changes at the highest levels of the National Security Council, officials familiar with Bolton’s thinking and Trump’s National Security Council tell The Daily Caller.
These officials tell TheDC Bolton has been charged by President Donald Trump to stop national security leaks from inside the administration and to change the current relationship between the NSC and the president. A representative for Bolton declined to comment.
“Bolton understands that the NSC’s job is to implement the president’s policy, not to influence policy,” a former Trump NSC official told TheDC.
The official added that outgoing NSA H.R. McMaster would tell staffers before any decision was formulated that “our solutions would start with our values,” but added that “Bolton will throw all that crap out” by focusing on a threat and all available solutions.
A former U.S. official who worked closely with Bolton told TheDC Trump has specifically directed Bolton to stop leaks of national security information to the media.
“Bolton is in a position right now of figuring out how do I stop the leaks if I’m using the same people, its not that he wants to clean house,” he explained, adding that the only way to effectively ensure the only way to do that is to bring in his own people.
The former official said he believes Bolton will “start at the top” of the NSC staff but warned that he won’t stop there if need be.
“He’s going to keep digging down lower levels until he’s certain the leaks have stopped.”
Asked specifically about Nadia Schadlow, deputy national security adviser under McMaster, TheDC’s source said he was sure she would be gone, adding that her think tank background would likely clash with Bolton.
Sources also told Foreign Policy Friday that dozens of current NSC officials were likely to be fired, and that “everyone who was there during Obama years should start packing their shit.”
Both former officials however noted that Bolton is a “methodical, strategic thinker” who appreciates a staff with differing view points.
“Everybody has the wrong impression about John” a former official said, referring to the former United Nations Ambassador’s characterization as a warmonger.
The official further noted that Bolton was diplomatically successful in punishing North Korea while serving in his UN role.