Former US National Security Adviser John Bolton didn't get along with important people in the administration, Trump said in a statement, without specifying names.
"And it set us back, and frankly he wanted to do things — not necessarily tougher than me — You know John’s known as a tough guy. He’s so tough he got us into Iraq … but he’s actually somebody I had a very good relationship with. But he wasn’t getting along with people in the administration that I consider very important", he said.
Trump continued by saying that there are five people whom he considers to be very qualified to fill the role of national security adviser.
"We will have five people who want it very much", Trump told reporters.
The divide between Trump and Bolton had been growing for months, with both of them complaining about each other’s foreign policy stances, according to reports.
Bolton left the Trump administration after disagreeing with the US president over his efforts to hold negotiations with the Taliban and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. While Trump says that he asked Bolton to resign, Bolton claims he resigned on his own accord.
Libyan Model for North Korea
The US president also criticised Bolton's "Libyan model" for North Korean denuclearisation, saying it was among several other mistakes that the former national security adviser had made at the post. According to Trump, Bolton offended North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un by requiring that he follow the "Libyan model" and hand over all his nuclear weapons.
"He made some very big mistakes. He talked about a Libyan model for Kim Jong-un", Trump told reporters at the White House, adding that this was "not a good statement to make".
Trump drags John Bolton: "John is known as a tough guy. He's so tough he got us into Iraq. That's tough." pic.twitter.com/95BRwBTsfM— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 11, 2019
Kim and Trump have been engaged in talks aimed at denuclearising the Korean Peninsula for months. In February, the US and North Korean heads of state held their second summit in Hanoi, which followed their first meeting in Singapore in June 2018. However, the Vietnam meeting finished without any declaration or agreement. Bolton was allegedly wary of the negotiations and there were reports that he was the reason for the absence of a new agreement between the two countries.
In the early 2000s, after joining the UN convention on eliminating chemical weapons in exchange for sanctions relief, Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi agreed to renounce his nuclear ambitions.
Bolton Was 'Way out of Line' on Venezuela
The US president also pointed out that John Bolton was "way out of line" on Venezuela, supporting a coup in the Latin American country and pushing for military options.
"I disagreed with John Bolton on his attitudes on Venezuela", Trump said. "I thought he was way out of line".
Bolton openly supported regime change in Venezuela, having stated that Washington was seeking to form a coalition for a transition of power from the legitimately elected president, Nicolas Maduro, to the self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido. He asked countries to "turn their backs" on the Maduro government and reiterated that "all options are on the table" with regard to possible US military intervention in Venezuela.
Venezuela has been embroiled in an ongoing political crisis since early January, when Guaido proclaimed himself the interim president in defiance of legitimate President Maduro, who was sworn in for a second term on 10 January.
Guaido’s move was immediately recognised by the United States, with other countries around the world following suit, while Maduro slammed him as a US “puppet” and dismissed the entire situation as a coup attempt staged by Washington.