New Chief of Staff John Kelly was brought on board to bring order to a chaotic White House, and part of his plan for reform is to carefully vet who gets access to Trump and when. While there’s no doubt that the Trump White House could use some discipline, we wonder if Kelly isn’t doing his job a little too well. If important Trump advisers like former UN Ambassador John Bolton can’t even get an audience with Donald Trump these days, Kelly’s rules may be less about keeping the agenda on track and more about isolating the president from those who have his best interests at heart.
Bolton was reportedly asked by former chief strategist Steve Bannon to come up with a plan that would allow the U.S. to smoothly exit the Iran nuclear deal that was signed into effect by the previous administration. Trump campaigned tirelessly on a promise to rip that deal to shreds…but so far, he has taken no steps to do so. Instead, he has twice certified Iran’s compliance with the deal’s regulations, despite the fact that the Islamic regime has violated many of the agreement’s clauses.
Since Bolton was unable to deliver his plan to the president himself, he published it in the National Review:
Here it is. It is only five pages long, but like instant coffee, it can be readily expanded to a comprehensive, hundred-page playbook if the administration were to decide to leave the Iran agreement. There is no need to wait for the next certification deadline in October. Trump can and should free America from this execrable deal at the earliest opportunity.
I offer the Iran nonpaper now as a public service, since staff changes at the White House have made presenting it to President Trump impossible. Although he was once kind enough to tell me “come in and see me any time,” those days are now over.
Bolton goes on to sketch his outline for withdrawing from the disastrous nuclear agreement, which covers the bases on a number of fronts, including diplomacy with our allies, public relations, and the reasons why the U.S. should no longer be a party to the deal.
“This effort should be the Administration’s highest diplomatic priority, commanding all necessary time, attention, and resources,” Bolton concludes. “We can no longer wait to eliminate the threat posed by Iran. The Administration’s justification of its decision will demonstrate to the world that we understand the threat to our civilization; we must act and encourage others to meet their responsibilities as well.”
Whether Bolton’s strategy is sound policy or not, we’ll leave to the experts. But this is the kind of material that should be on the president’s desk. The problem here is that Bolton appears to have been exiled, and – taken in conjunction with the recent White House purges of trusted advisers like Bannon and Sebastian Gorka – that gives us an uneasy feeling about what’s going down at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.