McMaster out, Bolton in as National Security Adviser
H.R. McMaster plans to resign and will be replaced as national security adviser by former U.N. ambassador John Bolton. The White House said McMaster's departure had been under discussion for some time and that the process was sped up to end speculation about the role. McMaster will stay on until mid-April.
Bottom line, from Axios' Jonathan Swan: This isn’t about ideology — unlike Trump, Bolton is hawkish and interventionist on foreign policy. This is about personal chemistry.
Bolton is a veteran of the Reagan and both Bush administrations and a prominent neoconservative. One area where he and Trump contrast sharply is the Iraq War — Trump has called the war a "huge mistake" while Bolton insists it was the correct move.
While both are outspoken opponents of the Iran nuclear deal, Bolton has gone so far as to call for Iran to be bombed. He also wrote a WSJ op-ed last month headlined, The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First.
Though his time in the White House was far from smooth, McMaster is leaving on better terms than his predecessor, Michael Flynn, who was fired for lying about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. and has since pleaded guilty in the Mueller probe.
Gen. H.R. McMaster Statement:
President Trump Statement
Why the stock markets are tanking
Stock markets were down sharply on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 724 points, or 2.96%.
Three key drivers: Tariffs, inter-bank lending rates and Facebook's troubles.
Tariffs: President Trump's expected announcement of anti-China tariffs, which have taken a particular bite out of Dow components like Boeing and Caterpillar. Stocks rebounded slightly after news came that the tariffs would not be imposed until after a 3o-day public comment period, which could let U.S. businesses plead their case. But then they resumed their plummet.
Financials: The LIBOR rates, which are the interest rates at which banks lend to one another, have hit their highest levels since 2008, thus hammering bank stocks.
Tech-lash: Facebook shares continue to fall, amid calls for increased regulation that could impact broader social media ad models. Some tech hardware companies, like Apple, also are experiencing tariff-related drops.