The long-rumored change was announced by Trump on Twitter on Thursday, the latest shakeup of senior staff at the White House in recent weeks.
Trump said that the change would take place on April 9.
“I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor,” Trump wrote. “I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.”
In a longer statement, Trump said, “General McMaster’s leadership of the National Security Council staff has helped my administration accomplish great things to bolster America’s national security. He helped develop our America First National Security Strategy, revitalize our alliances in the Middle East, smash ISIS, bring North Korea to the table, and strengthen our nation’s prosperity. This work and those achievements will ensure that America builds on its economic and military advantages.”
Bolton, a Fox commentator who served as ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, will be Trump’s third national security adviser. McMaster succeeded Michael Flynn, who resigned after just weeks in the job amid a scandal over his misrepresentation of what he discussed with the Russian ambassador in conversations during the transition period. Flynn has since plead guilty to knowingly making false statements in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian influence on the 2016 election.
The White House said that McMaster will retire from the U.S. Army after 34 years of service. A White House official said that Trump and McMaster had been discussing his departure for some time, and that it was was “not related to any one moment or incident, rather it was the result of ongoing conversations between the two.”
“I am thankful to President Donald J. Trump for the opportunity to serve him and our nation as national security advisor,” McMaster said in a statement. “I am grateful for the friendship and support of the members of the National Security Council who worked together to provide the President with the best options to protect and advance our national interests.”
Last week saw the ouster of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, and the week before the departure of Gary Cohn as Trump’s chief economic adviser. Trump indicated that more shakeups were coming, and reports surfaced that McMaster was about to leave.
Earlier on Thursday, John Dowd resigned as Trump’s lead attorney representing him in Mueller’s inquired. He was said to have advocated for a more cooperative stance with Mueller, in contrast to Trump, who has been criticizing the investigation as a “witch hunt” and has more recently been naming Mueller in his tweets.