“Bolton didn’t have anything positive to say about Trump,” the attendee said.
One senior official confirmed this argument happened in the Oval Office and at the end of the meeting, the President asked Bolton for his resignation.
Bolton’s exit made him the latest national security figure the Trump administration has plowed through, even as multiple geopolitical crises have played out. Trump’s approach to national security — and his penchant for threatening other countries over Twitter — has made national security roles within the Trump administration increasingly difficult to navigate.
Bolton told the attendees he believed that letting these attacks go unanswered is simply encouraging Iran’s bad behavior.
In wide-ranging comments to reporters in the Oval Office last week, Trump held forth on Iran and Afghanistan, pausing to criticize Bolton for his positions on Iraq and North Korea and make clear he disagreed with his former adviser’s stance on Venezuela.
While Bolton had pushed tough measures against Iran and North Korea — and in the past has advocated the use of military force against both — Trump praised the potential of both countries and did not rule out easing sanctions on Tehran, a change the regime is demanding before it will engage in talks.
CNN’s Zachary Cohen, Kaitlan Collins, Nicole Gaouette, Maegan Vazquez and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.