Fifty senior national security officials who served in previous Republican administrations blasted Donald Trump in an open letter, stating that if elected, the GOP presidential nominee would “risk our country’s national security and well-being.”
But Trump didn’t take it lying down — he hit right back, and blamed the fragile state of the world on the letter’s 50 signatories.
Those who signed the letter said they won’t be casting their votes for Trump come November.
“Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President,” the letter said, according to The New York Times. “He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world. He appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws, and U.S. institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press, and an independent judiciary.”
No former secretaries of state signed the letter, however its 50 signatories included John Negroponte, who was a former deputy secretary of state and director of national intelligence, as well as former CIA and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden,
Both men served under President George W. Bush.
The Trump team didn’t wait long to respond, and hit back with its own statement.
“The names on this letter are the ones American people should look to for answers on why the world is a mess,” Trump’s statement began. “These insiders — along with Hillary Clinton — are the owners of the disastrous decisions to invade Iraq, allow Americans to die in Benghazi, and they are the ones who allowed the rise of ISIS.”
CNN’s Jim Acosta posted Trump’s full statement on Twitter.
Trump statement on Nat Sec letter: pic.twitter.com/6k07n9IQHr
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 8, 2016
Trump has long been critical of the younger Bush’s decision to invade Iraq as well as President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq absent a status of forces agreement.
The 50 who signed the letter also expressed concerns about the Democratic presidential nominee.
“We also know that many have doubts about Hillary Clinton, as do many of us,” they wrote. “But Donald Trump is not the answer to America’s daunting challenges and to this crucial election. We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he would be the most reckless President in American history.”
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