In a blow to Donald Trump, a group of 50 Republican national security experts, including former top spy masters and diplomats, has said the White House nominee would be a dangerous President and would put the country’s safety at risk.
However, Trump sought to dismiss their charges by saying that these “Washington elites” should look for answers on why the world has become a mess.
The group of national security experts said, “None of us will vote for Donald Trump. From a foreign policy perspective, Trump is not qualified to be the President and Commander-in-Chief. Indeed, we are convinced that he would be a dangerous President and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”
“Most fundamentally, Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President. He weakens the US’ moral authority as the leader of the free world,” said the letter which has been signed by individuals who served in senior national security and foreign policy positions in Republican administrations, from Richard Nixon to George W Bush.
The statement added that the 70-year-old business tycoon appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the US Constitution, US laws and US institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press and an independent judiciary.
Claiming that Trump lacks the temperament to be the President, the statement alleged he has demonstrated repeatedly that he has little understanding of America’s vital national interests, its complex diplomatic challenges, its indispensable alliances and the democratic values on which the US foreign policy must be based.
Trump, the statement said, is unable or unwilling to separate truth from falsehood. He does not encourage conflicting views.
“He lacks self-control and acts impetuously. He cannot tolerate personal criticism. He has alarmed our closest allies with his erratic behaviour. All of these are dangerous qualities in an individual who aspires to be President and Commander-in-Chief, with command of the US nuclear arsenal,” they said.
The group joins members of the security establishment who have already come out against Trump, including former CIA director Michael Morell, who last Friday accused Trump of being an “unwitting agent” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Prominent among those who signed the letter were former CIA director Michael Hayden, former US trade representative Carla A Hills, former US Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill and former associate director for Near East affairs, National Security Council, White House Richard Fontaine.