Dem Rep. Welch: ‘What I Think Happened Here Is Pompeo Won and Bolton Lost’

Wednesday on CNN, Rep. Peter Welch (R-VT) offered his thoughts on John Bolton’s departure as National Security Advisor.

According to Welch, he saw it as an internal fight between Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who Welch categorized as Pompeo emerging as the victor.

“I think there’s two issues really, one is personnel, and essentially what I think happened here is Pompeo won, and Bolton lost,” Welch said. “Pompeo has got the ear of the president, and basically he’s been willing to defer to whatever the Trump policies are. Bolton was in the president’s face and was quite unpopular in the national security apparatus. But second, and this is really more significant, the president is going to be his own national security adviser. That’s essentially what’s going on. And that does concern me. You need a process by which you evaluate what options are, that has to be done thoughtfully and carefully. The president doesn’t like that. He likes to be impulsive. He has enormous confidence if he just sits down with an adversary leader. Everything is going to work out. And that is alarming to me because that is a go-it-alone kind of approach when, in fact, you need a real apparatus to get things done.”

Welch added that it was necessary to be in President Donald Trump’s good graces, which he said was “not a good way to operate.”

“[Y]ou’ve got to toe the line with him, and I think even more than that, you’ve got to praise him. You’ve got to reassure the president every day that he’s the brightest, best president we’ve ever had. So, that’s not a good way to operate. The president absolutely needs to get the full range of opinions, even when he doesn’t want to hear it.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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