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More than four dozen former Republican foreign policy officials have signed a letter declaring they are not voting for Donald Trump because it would put national security at risk.
“None of us will vote for Donald Trump,” reads the letter, signed by 50 veterans of the George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush and Richard Nixon administrations and published Monday by the New York Times. “From a foreign policy perspective, Donald Trump is not qualified to be 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,” the letter states, “Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President. 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.”
Those who signed the letter include former Homeland Security Secs. Thomas Ridge and Michael Chertoff; former NSA and CIA Director Michael V. Hayden; ex-Deputy Secretaries of State John D. Negroponte and Robert B. Zoellick; and Eric S. Edelman, who served as Vice President Dick Cheney’s national security adviser and was a top aide to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump, their letter continues, has “demonstrated repeatedly that he has little understanding” of the nation’s “vital national interests, its complex diplomatic challenges, its indispensable alliances and the democratic values.” What’s more, the real estate mogul and former “Celebrity Apprentice” host “has shown no interest in educating himself” on crucial foreign policy issues.”
Yahoo News Now: Former acting CIA director Morell calls Trump a threat to national security
On Friday, August 5, 2016, Yahoo News Deputy Editor Dan Klaidman and Yahoo News Chief Washington Correspondent Olivier Knox join Yahoo News Guest Anchor Alexis Christoforous on Yahoo News Now to discuss the recent op-ed piece in the New York Times former acting director of the CIA Mike Morell wrote. Endorsing Hillary Clinton, Morell called Donald Trump “a threat to our national security.”
“He is unable or unwilling to separate truth from falsehood,” the letter adds. “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 behavior. All of these are dangerous qualities in an individual who aspires to be president and commander in chief, with command of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.”
The stinging assessment of Trump’s national security proposals came on the heels of several apparent foreign policy gaffes, most notably the GOP nominee’s vow that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not invade Ukraine, despite the fact that Putin seized the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
“He’s not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand,” Trump said in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want.”
“He’s already there, isn’t he?” Stephanopoulos responded.
Trump later clarified to say he was talking about Russia’s future actions under a potential Trump administration.
Donald Trump tries to clarify his previous statements on Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin
On Aug. 1, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump took to Twitter in an attempt to clarify remarks he made on “This Week” about Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s involvement in the region.
The Times noted that absent from the list of signatories are former Republican Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, George P. Shultz, James A. Baker III, Colin L. Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
Earlier this year, Trump met with both Kissinger and Baker, telling the paper he “came away with a lot of knowledge” from the pair.
In March, more than 100 national security advisers signed a similar letter blasting Trump as a “fundamentally dishonest” candidate who “would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe.”
Monday’s missive was even more blunt.
“We understand that many Americans are profoundly frustrated with the federal government and its inability to solve pressing domestic and international problems,” the letter concludes. “We also know that many have doubts about Hillary Clinton, as do many of us. 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.”