comScore Mike Pompeo, Steve Mnuchin Grilled on John Bolton Firing

Reporters Grill Pompeo Over Bolton’s Shocking Ouster: ‘Is This National Security Team a MESS?’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin faced an avalanche of questions on Tuesday about the growing dispute over John Bolton‘s split from the Trump administration.

After Pompeo and Mnuchin delivered their opening statements from the White House briefing room, they were flooded with questions about why Trump fired Bolton and why the former national security adviser is disputing the president on how it happened. Brian Karem (who just had his White House pass restored) challenged the two by noting that Bolton was supposed to be part of this briefing before his firing was announced.

“Were you two blindsided by what occurred today? That he is no longer with the administration?” Karen asked. “Was it news to you today? Because last night you were told he would be here today.”

“I’m never surprised,” Pompeo answered with laughter. “We work very closely with the President of the United States. I think we have a pretty good understanding of how he’s thinking about things.”

Pompeo and Mnuchin continued to dismiss the Bolton matter as “palace intrigue,” but they continued to be asked how Bolton was out of alignment with Trump on foreign policy. This culminated with the two of them being asked “Is the national security team a mess?”

Watch above, via Fox News.

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