Donald Trump scored an endorsement from 88 retired military leaders, helping him solidify the support he seeks from the military community.
The Trump campaign on Tuesday released an open letter organized by Major Gen. Sidney Shachnow, a 40-year Army veteran and Holocaust survivor, and Rear Admiral Charles Williams, a recipient of the Legion of Merit. The 88 retired U.S. generals and admirals include four 4-star and fourteen 3-star flag officers.
Williams noted that the motivation for the letter was to make a public statement that military leaders believe “Donald Trump is more trusted to be commander-in-chief than Hillary Clinton.”
“The 2016 election affords the American people an urgently needed opportunity to make a long-overdue course correction in our national security posture and policy,” the letter began. “As retired senior leaders of America’s military, we believe that such a change can only be made by someone who has not been deeply involved with, and substantially responsible for, the hollowing out of our military and the burgeoning threats facing our country around the world. For this reason, we support Donald Trump’s candidacy to be our next Commander-in-Chief.”
The military leaders warned that “debilitating budget cuts” and policy choices of President Obama’s administration as well as “emboldened” enemies of the country create a “potentially extremely perilous” combination.
“That is especially the case if our government persists in the practices that have brought us to this present pass,” the letter concluded. “For this reason, we support Donald Trump and his commitment to rebuild our military, to secure our borders, to defeat our Islamic supremacist adversaries and restore law and order domestically. We urge our fellow Americans to do the same.”
Trump called the support a “great honor” in a statement released by his campaign.
“It is a great honor to have such amazing support from so many distinguished retired military leaders,” he said. “I thank each of them for their service and their confidence in me to serve as commander-in-chief. Keeping our nation safe and leading our armed forces is the most important responsibility of the presidency. Under my administration, we will end the weak foreign policy of the last eight years, rebuild our military, give our troops clear rules of engagement and take care of our veterans when they come home. We can only Make America Great Again if we ensure our military remains the finest fighting force in the world, and that’s exactly what I will do as president.”
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