Rep. Steve King: John Bolton Was ‘My First Choice for Secretary of State’

By Jackson Richman

Representative Steve King (R-IA) said on Tuesday that former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton was his “first choice for Secretary of State” last year.

Bolton was reportedly a top candidate for the position before President Donald Trump chose former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.

Last November, it was reported that the Trump administration may replace Tillerson with CIA director Mike Pompeo, who in turn, would be replaced by Arkansas senator Tom Cotton.

The New York Times then reported:

Mr. Tillerson’s departure has been widely anticipated for months, but associates have said he was intent on finishing out the year to retain whatever dignity he could. Even so, an end-of-year exit would make his time in office the shortest of any secretary of state whose tenure did not end around a change in presidents in nearly 120 years.

While some administration officials initially expected him to be replaced by Ms. Haley, Mr. Pompeo has become the favorite. A former three-term member of the House, he has impressed Mr. Trump during daily intelligence briefings and become a trusted policy adviser on issues far beyond the C.I.A.’s mandate, like health care. But he has been criticized by intelligence officers for being too political in his job.

Mr. Cotton has been perhaps Mr. Trump’s most important supporter in the Senate on national security and immigration and a valued outside adviser. Officials cautioned that there was still a debate about whether Mr. Cotton was more valuable to the president in the Senate than in taking over the spy agency in Langley, Va.

However, Tillerson attempted to erase any speculation last Saturday that he would not remain in Foggy Bottom by the end of 2018.

“I intend to be here for the whole year,” Tillerson said.

In response the network’s global affairs correspondent Elise Labott asked him, “Has the president given you any indication that you won’t be around for a while?”

“None,” Tillerson replied.

King’s remarks preceded a speech by Bolton at a panel on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth, an Israel advocacy group, regarding the current Iranian protests.

About Jackson Richman 150 Articles
Jackson Richman is an editor at The National Discourse. His work has also been featured in The Weekly Standard, The Daily Caller, The Washington Examiner, Tablet, The Daily Signal, The College Fix, The Huffington Post, The Forward, and other outlets. He has interviewed prominent personalities such as, but not limited to, Pulitzer Prize winners Thomas Friedman and Charles Krauthammer, Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson, former State Department adviser David Makovsky, prominent American rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Iowa representative Steve King, FCC chairman Ajit Pai, Nebraska senator Ben Sasse, comedian Adam Carolla, University of Chicago president Robert Zimmer, and British historian and intellectual Niall Ferguson.