Afghanistan: Trump’s idea of inviting leaders of the Taliban to Camp David, the presidential retreat, to discuss a deal on which the United States would withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan didn’t go well with John Bolton. The Washington Post reported that tensions had risen to the point that Zalmay Khalilzad, the US negotiator with the Taliban, refused to share his draft deal with Bolton for fear he would scuttle it. Trump ultimately said he canceled the Taliban meeting, citing an attack that killed a US soldier, and said the talks were dead.
Iran: Bolton has long been a vociferous hawk on Iran. In 2015, Bolton wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times bluntly headlined, “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” Shortly after Bolton took office, Trump walked away from an international nuclear deal and slapped punishing sanctions on Iran. But recently Trump has increasingly said that he is open to diplomacy.
North Korea: Bolton is also well-known for his hard line on North Korea. Shortly before his appointment, he wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the United States would be justified in waging a pre-emptive strike on the country. While Trump has been vocal for talks with North Korea, Bolton occasionally been throwing a comment or two that greatly hindered the effort.
Venezuela: Bolton has championed one of Trump’s biggest foreign policy pushes, seeking to topple Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a leftist who presides over a crumbling economy. But Bolton made his exit before Maduro, who remains in power and enjoys support of the military more than half a year after the United States and other major Western and Latin American powers declared him illegitimate. Trump has been speaking less about Venezuela and, according to multiple reports, he chided Bolton in private for overselling the ease with which opposition leader Juan Guaido could take over.