US Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Thursday slammed President Trump‘s picks for national security adviser and secretary of State, saying the president is creating a “war cabinet” with John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, respectively.
“With the appointments of Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, @realDonaldTrump is successfully lining up his war cabinet,” Markey tweeted shortly after Trump announced Bolton would be his next national security adviser.
“Bolton played a key role in politicizing the intel that misled us into the Iraq War. We cannot let this extreme war hawk blunder us into another terrible conflict,” Markey added.
The president tweeted early Thursday evening that Bolton, the hawkish former Bush administration official, will take over for McMaster on April 9.
“I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend,” Trump tweeted.
McMaster, an Army lieutenant general, will retire from the military, a White House official said.
Markey and other Democrats were particularly critical of Bolton’s involvement in the discussions leading up to the Iraq War. Bolton served as undersecretary of State in the years leading up to the war, and had a focus on preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
Bolton, who was seen visiting the White House on Thursday, will be Trump’s third national security adviser. His first, Michael Flynn, resigned last year, and has since pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The appointment of Bolton was described by DAN FRIEDMAN as the scariest news of the Trump presidency .
Bolton is famous for advocating preemptive wars and is now in a position to help start one.
Just last month he urged a preemptive military strike by the United States on North Korea. “It is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current ‘necessity’ posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons by striking first,” he wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed
Bolton was a leading advocate of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and served in the George W. Bush administration, first as an undersecretary of state for arms control and nonproliferation, where he opposed international arms control and nonproliferation efforts. He was then a UN Ambassador who opposed international organizations like the very one he was working in.
In 2009, Bolton, in a speech at the University of Chicago, seemed to call for Israel to launch a preemptive nuclear attack on Iran:
In a 2012 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he joked about a nuclear attack on Chicago, President Obama’s hometown. He accused Obama of lacking a backbone in dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Obama “put us in a greatly weakened position” with Russia, Bolton said.
Bolton’s views on Russia have changed . On Fox News on Thursday, Bolton declined to fault Trump’s decision to congratulate Putin on his election victory.
That is not Bolton’s only tie to the Trump-Russia scandal. He heads a superPAC that has paid at least $1.1 million to political data firm Cambridge Analytica—the company accused of improperly obtaining data on at least 50 million Facebook users and which also had ties to other Russians. The biggest donor to Bolton’s committee, forking over more than $3 million since 2015, is Robert Mercer, the billionaire founder of Cambridge Analytica.
Bolton was described as a uniquely controversial and dangerous pick as Trump’s top national security aide.