Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice weighed in on the departure of Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton on Tuesday, saying that, in a conflict between the president and his adviser, it is the president who is expected to stay.
"I'm sure he did his best to give the president his unvarnished advice which is what you're supposed to be: his national security adviser," Rice said on Fox News. "But in the final analysis, if the national security adviser and the president are not on the same page, it's not the president who's going to go and I'm sure that John understands that as a long-serving diplomat, long-serving policy expert."
On Tuesday, Trump fired Bolton, although the former advisor maintains he resigned. The two clearly disagreed on foreign policy: Trump described Bolton as “definitely a hawk,” who would "take on the whole world at one time” if he could. Trump, by contrast, appears to favor making deals with foreign leaders, even if it is sometimes in an eccentric manner.
"I do think that there's been a kind of long-simmering disagreement between John and perhaps the president, perhaps others in the administration," Rice said, characterizing the former advisor as being “sharp in his views.”
Rice served as national security adviser during the George W. Bush administration and worked with Bolton before she was appointed as Secretary of State, Fox News noted.
Speaking in an interview, the former secretary praised Trump for his decision to cancel a meeting with Afghanistan’s Taliban movement.
"I'm glad he made that decision because I think the Taliban have come to the conclusion that we wanted an agreement more than they did," Rice said.
She warned, however, against a sudden pullout from the country.
"I don't think any of us would take back the decisions to provide that stabilizing force and I understand that people want the war in Afghanistan to end," Rice said. "But if we can end it in a way so that perhaps the military can tell the president that there is a sustainable presence for some period of time until the Afghans can defend themselves."
"We don't want to turn our backs on the Afghan people and we certainly don't want to be in the position that we were 18 years ago tomorrow,” she said, referring to the 9/11 attack conducted by Al Qaeda.
Shortly after the attack the US invaded Afghanistan under the pretext of its War on Terror. Washington has now been there for 18 years - the longest war in US history - without resolution.