Fox host says John Bolton texted him to dispute claim he was fired: ‘Let’s be clear: I resigned’

September 11, 2019

Brian Kilmeade received an unexpected text on Tuesday, according to Mediaite.

The Fox News personality was appearing as a guest on the network’s Outnumbered when he got a message from former National Security Adviser John Bolton. In it, Bolton disputed President Donald Trump’s claim that he had been fired.

Conflicting statements

Bolton had served as the United States’ U.N. ambassador under President George W. Bush and was made National Security adviser to Trump in April 2018. He was the third person to fill the role, and his appointment wasn’t without controversy.

Considered an aggressive figure, a New York Times article written at the time of his appointment said: “There is little in Mr. Bolton’s past, or in [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo’s, to indicate they have much time for the give-and-take of the diplomatic process, where to get something the United States also gives something.”

But Bolton’s tenure came to an end this week, with President Trump announcing via tweet that the National Security adviser had been fired.

“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” Trump stated. “I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the [a]dministration, and therefore 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 [adviser] next week.”

In response, Bolton fired off a tweet of his own that disputed Trump’s account.

That’s the news

And he didn’t stop there. Bolton continued to push back on Trump’s narrative during a live segment of Outnumbered on Tuesday.

Show co-host Harris Faulkner had just read out Trump’s tweet and Bolton’s reply when Kilmeade indicated that the now ex-official was watching the program and had just contacted him via text.

“John Bolton just texted me, he’s watching,” Kilmeade revealed. “He said, let’s be clear: I resigned.”

Faulkner seemed confused by the exchange, asking: “Why are we doing this? Why are we — I know we’re doing it: it’s a talk show… But why are they doing it?”

Kilmeade said Bolton didn’t want the public believing that he had been forced out. But according to Faulker, the method of Bolton’s departure isn’t the most important development here.

“Why are we seeing this play, one against the other almost, in terms of what the narrative is? Is it important, or is it just that the president has moved on and he’s going to hire a new National Security adviser?” she asked. “I mean, that’s the news, right?” That’s the news, indeed.


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Adam Peters

Adam Peters is a Conservative Institute staff writer.