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As it happenedended1568145990

Trump news: President claims he fired John Bolton, as former security adviser texts Fox News hosts live to say this isn't true

Chris Riotta
New York
,Joe Sommerlad
Tuesday 10 September 2019 21:01 BST
Watch Trump speak at Historically Black Colleges and Universities Conference

Donald Trump claimed he fired John Bolton in a tweet on Tuesday as polls showed his approval rating falling 38 per cent, down six points on his July career-best according to a new ABC News/Washington Post, as concerns over the fate of the American economy linger.

The president's abrupt announcement created a flurry of dramatic TV news, with Mr Bolton apparently texting Fox News hosts a simple message: "Let's be clear," he reportedly texted the network's Brian Kilmeade. "I resigned."

The president meanwhile held his latest “Keep America Great” rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Monday night, attacking the “America-hating left”, scaremongering about the release of “horrible, hardened criminals” in sanctuary cities and saying he rolled back energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs because: “I look better under incandescent light”. On another wild evening before a crowd of his most feverish supporters, Mr Trump also made a false claim about voter fraud in California and took sole credit for the US being awarded the 2026 FIFA World Cup and joked about serving a third term in order to be in office when the tournament gets underway.

During his year and a half at the White House, Mr Bolton had particular success in shaping the administration’s policies toward the United Nations and other international organizations, such as the International Criminal Court, as well as advocating for hardline measures on Venezuela and Cuba.

Mr Bolton had launched a broadside campaign against the International Criminal Court that resulted in the US revoking the visa of the court’s chief prosecutor after she sought permission to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by American troops and others in Afghanistan.

With the national security adviser on his team, Mr Trump announced the US was withdrawing from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, a position advocated by Mr Bolton.

The deal had been negotiated by the Obama administration to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions, and some in the administration favoured staying in the agreement.

His tenure in the White House was not without its many controversies, of course.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey refused to meet with Mr Bolton during his visit to Turkey to discuss US plans to withdraw troops from Syria in January.

The Turkish president was angered after Mr Bolton called for Turkish security assurances for the US-backed Kurdish forces as a condition for the withdrawal.

The president himself also appeared to undercut Mr Bolton’s public condemnation of missile tests by North Korea.

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“North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,” Mr Trump tweeted. “Some” of his “people” appeared to include Mr Bolton, who had told reporters just hours earlier that North Korean missile tests violated UN Security Council resolutions.

Additional reporting by AP. Please allow a moment for our liveblog to load


Hello and welcome to The Independent's rolling coverage of the Donald Trump administration.

Joe Sommerlad10 September 2019 09:20

Donald Trump held his latest “Keep America Great” rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Monday night, attacking the “America-hating left”, scaremongering about the release of “horrible, hardened criminals” in sanctuary cities and saying he rolled back energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs because: “I look better under incandescent light”.

On another wild evening before a crowd of his most feverish supporters at the city's Crown Complex, the president - in town to boost support for Republican congressional candidate Dan Bishop on the eve of a special election - said any endorsement of the sanctuary programme was "disloyal to American citizens" and would amount to "thousands of dangerous criminal aliens" being released into neighbourhoods.

Trump characterised Bishop's Democratic opponent Dan MacCready as a supporter of open immigration, without evidence, and told his followers: "To protect your family, you must defeat open borders."

Of his own challengers in DC - whom he also claimed, with outlandish hypocrisy, were "not big believers in religion" - the president said: "You don't have any choice. You have to vote for me. What are you going to do: Put one of these crazy people running? They are so far left. Your way of life is under assault by these people."

That completely unfounded allegation of voter fraud in California alluded to the tweet above was particularly rich given that the special election in North Carolina was being held in the first place because Republican incumbent Mark Harris was found to have been involved in a ballot tampering scheme himself.

Trump nevertheless ploughed on shamelessly: "You go to California, which has so many sanctuary cities. They don’t know what’s happening out there. You have people that want to get rid of those sanctuary cities, they just aren’t able to do it with the people that get elected. A lot of illegal voting going on out there, by the way."

The president also insisted once again that his trade war with China was working and took sole credit for the US being awarded the 2026 FIFA World Cup (utterly mangling the name of FIFA president Gianni Infantino in the process, whom he had met earlier that day), joking about serving a third term in order to be in office when the tournament gets underway.

Here's Andrew Buncombe's report on the night's unfolding.

Joe Sommerlad10 September 2019 09:30

"They look rich as hell to me!" Trump said of these women in the front row, superfans who claim to have been to all but two of his campaign events.

(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

(Jim Watson/AFP)

(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Joe Sommerlad10 September 2019 09:50

Earlier, Trump had defended his administration’s decision to block Hurricane Dorian refugees from the Bahamas from entering Florida, claiming there were some “very, very bad drug dealers” amongst their number, and made up a fake 94 per cent approval rating for himself among Republican Party members.

Here's more from Andrew Buncombe.

Joe Sommerlad10 September 2019 10:05

Also during that session on the South Lawn, Trump said his hopes of reviving peace talks with the Taliban were "dead", dismissed the idea of engaging his Republican challengers Mark Sanford, Joe Walsh and Bill Weld in debate and, interestingly, pledged to issue a "financial report" to lay to rest the idea that he has been profiteering from the presidency by finally revealing the extent of his personal wealth: “You'll be extremely shocked that the numbers are many, many times what you think."

Here's our report on his defence of the idea of meeting with the Islamist terror group at Camp David.

Joe Sommerlad10 September 2019 10:25

Trump and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell faced renewed calls to take action on gun control from Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer yesterday, with the House speaker warning there will be "hell to pay" if they continue to do nothing in the wake of the recent run of deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

Here's Trump's latest noncommital waffling on the subject.

Joe Sommerlad10 September 2019 10:40

The Trump family are rightly being mocked online for their decision to launch a new range of army camoflauge merchandise, despite not one of them having served in the military and the president himself receiving no fewer than five draft deferrals to get out of Vietnam after being diagnosed with bone spurs. His ex-attorney, Michael Cohen, famously testified that Trump told him those get-out-of-gym-class notes were faked by a bribed medic.

Even Trump's grandfather, Frederick Trump, emigrated to the US from Bremen, Germany, in 1885 specifically to avoid conscription. 

Also, is that... is that dribble on Don Jr's shirt??

Zamira Rahim has more.

Joe Sommerlad10 September 2019 10:55

Trump tweeted this extraordinary image of lightning appearing to strike Air Force One in North Carolina yesterday.

You have to wonder whether it had anything to do with this ill-advised provocation of the Almighty.

Divine retribution for the president's burgeoning god delusion?

Greg Evans asks the big questions for Indy100.

Joe Sommerlad10 September 2019 11:10

Trump's commerce secretary Wilbur Ross threatened to fire officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) after the National Weather Service Birmingham issued a tweet contradicting the president's claim that Alabama could be struck by Hurricane Dorian, according to The New York Times.

Trump was so angered by reporting on the controversy that he continued to tweet angrily about it for most of last week, making matters worse by presenting a doctored weather map to the press that he appeared to have altered himself with a black Sharpie.

While the commerce department has denied the report, The NYT states that Ross contacted acting NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs two days later and asked him to fix the damaging perception that the agency had contradicted Trump. The newspaper said that Jacobs initially objected and was then told that political staff at NOAA would be dismissed if the situation wasn't resolved. 

Senate minority leader Schumer has joined the chorus of voices calliing for Ross to resign for his "thuggish behaviour".

Here's Lily Puckett's report.

Joe Sommerlad10 September 2019 11:30

The number of migrants picked up by immigration officers on the US southern border with Mexico dropped by 22 per cent in August month-on-month, according to new data from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The drop comes just as a US district judge issued a court order for a nationwide halt on enforcement of President Trump's controversial rule that would block asylum-seekers who come through Mexico on their way to the US. That policy was one of the tactics being used by the administration as it tried to stop the flow of migrants heading north in search of a better life.

Acting CBP chief Mark Morgan said that the drop to 64,000 arrests on the southern border is down to Trump's June agreement with Mexico on immigration, which saw the country deploying troops to the borders to try and help meet the US president's demands. Overall, the Trump administration has reported a 56 per cent decline since that deal was struck.

Here's Clark Mindock's report.

Joe Sommerlad10 September 2019 11:50

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