John Bolton is written out of Trump’s TV presidency

TV helped get John Bolton hired as Donald Trump’s national security adviser. Trump reportedly liked watching Bolton on Fox News, where he was a contributor; when Bolton was appointed, in March last year, he was the third TV personality in eight days to formally enter the president’s team. It’s fitting, then, that TV helped get Bolton “fired,” too. (Bolton says he wasn’t fired; more on that shortly.) A TV star, Tucker Carlson, contributed to Trump’s recent turn against Bolton; Carlson privately advised Trump to ditch him, having also slammed him on air. And Trump reportedly grew tired of Bolton’s failure to parrot his foreign-policy line. Advisers convinced the president that Bolton was a leaker (Bolton denies this) adept at spinning his own perspective into the press; in recent days, for example, Trump was unhappy that his decision to nix a deal with the Taliban was portrayed by the media as a victory for Bolton. According to CNN, Bolton even started refusing TV hits where he would have to defend controversial Trump stances, such as readmitting Russia to the G7. His departure seemed inevitable; yesterday it was confirmed. James Poniewozik, who just wrote a book about Trump’s relationship with TV, tweeted that officials such as Bolton “live by the tube, die by (the reluctance to go on) the tube.”

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And Sanders created a fresh headache for the administration when she said the White House was still reviewing a proposal from Putin to allow access by Russian law enforcement officials to Americans whom the Kremlin accuses of unspecified crimes in return for US access to interrogations of Russian agents indicted for their alleged roles in interfering in the 2016 election. The State Department, by contrast, rejected the proposal — which Trump days earlier had called an “incredible offer — as “absurd.”