National security advisor John Bolton beat back a Thursday New York Times story claiming that President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to plan a reduced troop presence on the Korean peninsula.
“The New York Times story is utter nonsense. The President has not asked the Pentagon to provide options for reducing American forces stationed in South Korea,” Bolton declared strongly in an official statement from The White House.
TheNYT reported Thursday evening that “President Trump has ordered the Pentagon to prepare options for drawing down American troops in South Korea, just weeks before he holds a landmark meeting with North Korea’s leader,” adding that “Reduced troop levels are not intended to be a bargaining chip in Mr. Trump’s talks with Mr. Kim about his weapons program.”
The NYT report came days after NBCNews reported that White House chief of staff John Kelly had to dissuade Trump from ordering troops off the Korean peninsula before the February Winter Olympic Games.