US President Donald Trump has announced he fired his hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton, adding that he disagreed “strongly” with him.
“I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning,” Mr Trump tweeted, saying he will appoint a replacement next week.
But Mr Bolton insisted he had quit, and vowed to have his say “in due course”.
I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2019
Appointed in April 2018, he was Mr Trump’s third national security adviser after Michael Flynn and HR McMaster.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told reporters: “[The president] didn’t like a lot of his policies, they disagree.”
She said the president had asked for Mr Bolton’s resignation on Monday night, and it was delivered on Tuesday morning.
What is Bolton saying?
But moments after Mr Trump’s tweet, Mr Bolton took to Twitter to offer a different version of events.
He maintained he had actually offered his resignation, but Mr Trump told him “let’s talk about it tomorrow”.
I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, “Let’s talk about it tomorrow.”
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) September 10, 2019
As the news broke, Mr Bolton texted a Fox News host live on TV to insist he had resigned as national security adviser.
He texted Washington Post reporter Robert Costa that “I will have my say in due course” and “my sole concern is US national security”.
Just two hours before his departure was announced, Mr Bolton had been due to host a White House briefing with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Mr Bolton was spotted outside the West Wing on Tuesday morning, but he reportedly departed without escort after Mr Trump’s tweet.
The new acting national security adviser will be Charles Kupperman, who was a deputy to Mr Bolton, the White House told the BBC.