Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday he was not surprised by the news that President Donald Trump fired National Security Advisor John Bolton.
“I’m never surprised,” Pompeo said with a laugh when asked by reporters if he was surprised about the news. “And I don’t mean that on just this issue.”
Pompeo said that he worked closely with Trump and said the president asked for Bolton’s resignation on Monday night and was received on Tuesday morning. The president announced the news on Twitter on Tuesday.
“I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore asked John for his resignation,” Trump wrote.
The Secretary of State confirmed reports that he also disagreed with Bolton on a number of issues.
“There were definitely places that Ambassador Bolton and I had different views on how we should proceed,” he said.
Pompeo spoke at a White House press conference with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announcing a new executive order modernizing terror focused economic sanctions, but reporters only wanted additional information about the announcement of Bolton’s firing just hours earlier.
Mnuchin also volunteered information about how Bolton’s views differed from the president’s.
“The President’s view of the Iraq war and Ambassador Bolton’s were very different,” he said.
Pompeo cautioned world leaders, including those in Iran, from taking Bolton’s firing as a sign that Trump’s foreign policy would change.
“I don’t think that any leader around the world should make any assumption that because some one of us departs that the president Trump’s foreign policy will change in a material way,” he said.