Trump tweeted that he told Bolton Monday night his services were no longer needed at the White House and said Bolton submitted his resignation on Tuesday morning. Trump said that he "disagreed strongly" with many of Bolton's suggestions, "as did others in the administration."
I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2019
....I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2019
Bolton responded in a tweet of his own that he offered to resign Monday "and President Trump said, 'Let's talk about it tomorrow.'"
I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, "Let's talk about it tomorrow."— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) September 10, 2019
Bolton tells ABC News that his departure was his initiative, not Trump's.
"I offered to resign last night," Bolton tells ABC News. "He never asked for me to resign directly or indirectly. I slept on it and resigned this morning."
Bolton's ouster came as a surprise to many in the White House. Just an hour before Trump's tweet, the press office announced that Bolton would join Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a briefing.
Bolton was always an unlikely pick to be Trump's third national security adviser, with a world view seemingly ill-fit to the president's isolationist "America First" pronouncements.
He's espoused hawkish foreign policy views dating back to the Reagan administration and became a household name over his vociferous support for the Iraq War as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under George W. Bush. Bolton even briefly considered running for president in 2016, in part to make the case against the isolationism that Trump would come to embody.
Inside the administration he advocated caution on the president's whirlwind rapprochement with North Korea and against Trump's decision last year to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. He masterminded a quiet campaign inside the administration and with allies abroad to convince Trump to keep U.S. forces in Syria to counter the remnants of the Islamic State and Iranian influence in the region.
Bolton was named Trump's third national security adviser in April 2018 after the departure of Army Gen. H.R. McMaster.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.