The most die-hard supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would tend to say that for every moment when their man would ignite a large controversy that political opponents and analysts say will destroy his campaign and lose support, that he instead got boosts in popularity instead. They maintained this opinion throughout the remaining months before the November polls even as more news-making incidents kept throwing shade at Trump’s goals and attitude towards all dissent and criticism.
Now however, voices of contention within their own ranks and high-profile defections of support have become all too hard to ignore for Trump’s camp. And this has come to a head, as CNN reports, with the release of an open letter to the public signed by 50 Republican experts in national security and foreign policy, who have been appointed positions in past Republican administrations from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush. The contents of the letter were a stern denouncement of a prospective Trump presidency along with a pledge by the signatories to not vote for him in the coming elections.
The group included former CIA then NSA director Michael Hayden, former Deputy Secretary of State John Negropnte, former Homeland Security Secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff and former World Bank president Robert Zoellick.
Part of the letter reads, “Donald Trump is not qualified to be President and Commander-in- Chief,” from a national security viewpoint. It also describes him as lacking basic knowledge in the Constitution and US laws; lack of understanding of the nation’s interests, diplomatic ties and democratic values along with an implied unwillingness to learn more; an explosive temperament; and an ego that despises view which conflict with his own. The letter ends with an imploration to Republicans and the rest of America not to elect him, that he would be “the most reckless President in American History.”
Security officials with the GOP have long deliberated between themselves about writing such a letter against the party candidate, but things finally came to a head when Trump requested that Russia share with him their supposedly hacked emails of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, in addition to Trump’s seeming recognition of Russia’s occupation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula as legitimate. The contents of the letter were drafted by a team of two advisers to then-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice – Elliot Cohen and John Bellinger – and Bob Blackwill, former White House adviser to George HW Bush.
As always, Trump and his support network have a ready answer to the open letter’s release, identifying the undersigned as the principal suspects for the questionable security and foreign decisions of presidents past – the Iraqi invasion, Benghazi and ISIS – and even insinuating that Clinton herself may have put them up to writing the letter.
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