Sebastian Gorka, former deputy assistant to President Trump and Fox News national security strategist, said he expects Ambassador John Bolton to remove officials from the National Security Council (NSC) who do not support the president.
“Absolutely, without a doubt,” said Gorka in an interview Wednesday with Breitbart News.
“I don’t know if he’s going to bring people back, but he’s definitely going to get a grip on the people inside the Eisenhower Building, inside the NSC who think that they know better than the president,” he added. “So he’s not going to come in and just leave everything in place like H.R. [McMaster] did or fire those most loyal to President Trump’s vision and the America First agenda.”
At one of outgoing National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s first all-hands meetings, he told staffers that “there is no such thing as a holdover” and instructed them not to use the word “holdover” in reference to the civil servants who were detailed to the NSC during the Obama administration.
“Well, that simply is not a reality,” Gorka said. “You’ve got 125 leaks from the NSC in 126 days. That’s not being done by Trump loyalists or political appointees. That’s being done by holdovers. That was an incredibly naive or reckless statement to make. I do not expect John Bolton to be caught in the trap of such naivete that H.R. was.”
Bolton comes in with significant government experience. He has served in the Nixon, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush administrations, at the White House, State Department, Justice Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and at the United Nations.
Bolton’s supporters believe his vast government experience will be an asset in his new position as national security adviser, as the official who will present the views of the different government agencies to the president and enforce decisions made across those agencies.
Gorka said Bolton is aware that the NSC works for the president, not for the government bureaucracies.
“The NSC is the highest level policymaking body in national security in the United States. As such, it is a politically shaped entity that serves the objectives of the president. It does not serve the objectives of the bureaucracy. And H.R. seemed to think that the NSC was there to serve the bureaucracy as much as it served the president. Absolutely wrong. The National Security Council is there to serve the president, not the various agencies. And I think Bolton coming onboard will fix all that,” he said.
Gorka recalled multiple meetings at the NSC where bureaucrats — inside the building and at different agencies — never once mentioned the president’s name or discussed his policies regarding the issue set to be discussed.
“That’s when I realized the Deep State isn’t some conspiracy theory. The Deep State is real,” he said. “I was told by a friend of mine in the State Department that the day after the election, people were weeping — openly weeping at their desks at the State Department … . That’s what the president has to put up with.”
Gorka said despite this blatant expression of ideology from government officials, the president has managed to push through his agenda on a number of fronts.
“From getting out of the Paris Accords, to the tariffs, to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the eternal state of Israel, these are all things that the swamp wanted to sabotage, and even some members of the cabinet didn’t support. But they were the right thing to do, and the president did them. And that’s truly remarkable,” he said.
Gorka predicted that Bolton will be an honest broker at the NSC and not just advocate for his own views.
“I think the Bolton we’re going to see is going to be a new kind of Bolton, a Bolton 2.0. He takes very seriously the idea that the National Security Adviser is meant to be the honest broker, that he’s not there to impose his views on the president,” he said.
“He’s there to give the president a range of options, and at the end of the day, it is totally the president’s call,” he said.
“I don’t think H.R. McMaster fully understood that and didn’t fully internalize the honest broker role as originally envisaged by the National Security Act of 1947. He had his expectations, his views, and more often than not, wanted to see those personal views prevail. I don’t think John Bolton is going to do that.”