US President Donald Trump says he is considering five people to replace ousted national security advisor John Bolton, who, he says, was not aligned with his administration's priorities.

Trump says he asked Bolton to resign, but Bolton claims he did so on his own accord.
Trump says he asked Bolton to resign, but Bolton claims he did so on his own accord. (AFP Archive)

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the former national security advisor John Bolton was not aligned with his administration's priorities, saying Bolton made some mistakes, including offending North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un by demanding that he follow a "Libyan model" and hand over all his nuclear weapons.

Trump also said he was considering five very qualified people to replace Bolton. He did not name them.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said Bolton, who he abruptly fired on Tuesday, was also out of line on Venezuela, which has been another of the administration's top foreign policy challenges.

While the two were mostly in sync on the need to push Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power, Trump had become increasingly impatient at the failure of a US-led campaign of sanctions and diplomacy to remove the socialist leader. 

Trump declined to comment on whether he would meet with Maduro.

Disagreements on Taliban and Iran deal

Bolton left the administration after clashing with Trump on his efforts to hold negotiations with the Afghan Taliban and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Trump says he asked Bolton to resign, but Bolton claims he did so on his own accord.

Tuesday's shake-up comes at a trying moment for Trump on the world stage, as the president faces pressing decisions on difficult foreign policy issues.

Trump was asked whether he would consider easing sanctions on Iran to secure a meeting with its leader President Hassan Rouhani at this month's UN General Assembly and replied, "We'll see what happens."

Possible replacements 

Among the names being floated as possible Bolton successors are Stephen Biegun, special US envoy on North Korea; Richard Grenell, US ambassador to Germany; US hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien; and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

Source: Reuters