Are the Neocons Finally with Trump?

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures after walking from Air Force One in Greenville, South Carolina, U.S., October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The president’s decision to not certify the JCPOA has bequeathed him some strange bedfellows.

Bolton was spotted entering the White House last week, days ahead of the president's announcement. And as I’ve reported, Bolton’s plan for decertification was written at the behest of former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Bannon has told me he thinks Bolton has converted from being a Bush guy to a Trump guy, unlike many figures of W’s era (who he deeply loathes, if his recent 60 Minutes interview is any indication). Bannon told the Value Voters Summit over the weekend that Judge Roy Moore’s victory in Alabama was providence, and helped push the president over the finish the line in his decision; Moore is hawkish and “absolutely” a Bannonite on Iran.

But Daniel McCarthy, editor at large at The American Conservative, thinks it’s perpetual open season for the president’s favor. “Trump is Trump, which disappoints his realist would-be allies but will soon disappoint his neocon would-be allies, too,” McCarthy tells me. “What Trump is doing with the Iran deal and everything else is neither the realist nor the neocon playbook. . . . I suspect a Haley or a Bolton would be just as frustrated as [Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson after a few months,” were they to assume his role.

“The question,” McCarthy says, “Is who's more adaptable: will either side stick with Trump and keep pressing their case no matter how many curveballs he throws them? That side wins.” Game on.

Curt Mills is foreign-affairs reporter at the National Interest. Follow him on Twitter: @CurtMills.

Image: U.S. President Donald Trump gestures after walking from Air Force One in Greenville, South Carolina, U.S., October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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