In the wake of President Trump’s decision to appoint John Bolton as his national security adviser and Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, a consistent criticism has emerged: Trump will no longer have any “adult” supervision in the national security decision-making process or any Cabinet-level “checks” on his own worst instincts. This view is not only insulting, it is fundamentally anti-democratic. The Constitution places many checks on a president’s power, including Congress, an independent judiciary and a free press. It’s not the job of Cabinet officials to be a “check” on the president. Their job is to give the president options so he can make decisions — not restrict choices to constrain him. One of the reasons Trump is reshuffling his national security team is because he has reportedly been deeply frustrated with the lack of options presented to him. In April, he reluctantly recertified the Iran nuclear deal but told his … [Read more...] about It’s not the job of Cabinet officials to be a ‘check’ on the president
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close Video Amb. Bolton to replace McMaster as national security adviser President Trump thanks H.R. McMaster for his service, McMaster to retire from the U.S. Army effective this summer; reaction and analysis from the 'Special Report' All-Stars. WASHINGTON -- In the wake of President Trump's decision to appoint John Bolton as his national security adviser and Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, a consistent criticism has emerged: Trump will no longer have any "adult" supervision in the national security decision-making process or any Cabinet-level "checks" on his own worst instincts. This view is not only insulting, it is fundamentally anti-democratic. The Constitution places many checks on a president's power, including Congress, an independent judiciary and a free press. It's not the job of Cabinet officials to be a "check" on the president. Their job is to give the president options so he can make decisions -- not restrict choices to constrain him. One of the reasons … [Read more...] about Marc Thiessen: Trump’s cabinet is not supposed to be a ‘check’ on him — That’s not how democracy works
John Bolton is a bit like the barking dog that finally catches the car: What does he do now? Bolton surely has never once imagined himself as an “honest broker,” the quality that usually defines a successful national security adviser, the post he’s about to assume. Instead, Bolton has cultivated the image of a provocateur, bureaucratic infighter and permanent enfant terrible . He has seen his role as challenging policy, rather than sustaining it. Bolton will take control of a foreign policy process that needs something more than the incendiary rhetoric of a Fox News commentator. Many insiders say the interagency process is as dysfunctional now as at any time in recent decades. The problem isn’t so much that the administration is stuffed with menacing ideologues, but that it is an empty suit. The fiery Bolton is a worrying match for his new boss, who displays many of the same combative qualities. A bellicose president now has a person with similar traits as … [Read more...] about Trump’s war cabinet is now complete
Dismissed as a warmonger during the Obama presidency, the defense secretary may be the only reliable voice of caution left in an administration inching closer to the brink. By ROBERT F. WORTHMARCH 26, 2018 Continue reading the main story Share This Page Continue reading the main story One morning in mid-November, while answering routine press questions about aircraft carriers off the Korean Peninsula and de-confliction zones in Syria, Jim Mattis quietly hinted at something far more important. The United States would not be withdrawing its forces from Syria after the anticipated defeat of ISIS, as President Trump had been promising since his inauguration. Instead, the defense secretary suggested that American forces not only would remain but could even expand their role. “We’re going to make sure we set the conditions for a diplomatic solution,” Mattis said. “You need to do something about this mess now. Not just, you know, fight the military part of it … [Read more...] about Can Jim Mattis Hold the Line in Trump’s ‘War Cabinet’?