A collection of 50 Republicans who have worked in national security under previous presidents signed a letter which concludes Donald Trump is not qualified to be president. The NY Times was the first to report the story:
Fifty of the nation’s most senior Republican national security officials, many of them former top aides or cabinet members for President George W. Bush, have signed a letter declaring that Donald J. Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”…
Among the most prominent signatories are Michael V. Hayden, a former director of both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency; John D. Negroponte, who served as the first director of national intelligence and then deputy secretary of state; and Robert B. Zoellick, another former deputy secretary of state, United States trade representive and, until 2012, president of the World Bank. Two former secretaries of homeland security, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, also signed, as did Eric S. Edelman, who served as Vice President Dick Cheney’s national security adviser and as a top aide to Robert M. Gates when he was secretary of defense.
The letter also says, “None of us will vote for Donald Trump.” A similar letter (with some of the same signatories) was released in March.
However, former GOP secretaries of state including Colin Powell, Condi Rice, James Baker and Henry Kissinger have yet to come out against Trump. Politico reports today that Hillary Clinton’s camp has reached out to these figures hoping to score an unexpected endorsement from across the aisle:
A person close to Clinton said her team has sent out feelers to the GOP elders, although it wasn’t clear if those efforts were preliminary or more formal requests for endorsement, or if they were undertaken through intermediaries. Clinton campaign aides did not respond when asked if they had solicited endorsements or tried to persuade the elders to speak out against Trump.
Clinton might have had a better chance of winning an endorsement from Rice or Powell if she hadn’t spent much of the last year attempting to throw them both under the bus on the email scandal. Even Politifact didn’t buy her misleading excuse:
Clinton said, regarding her State Department email practices, “my predecessors did the same thing.”
This is a misleading claim chiefly because only one prior secretary of state regularly used email, Colin Powell. Powell did use a personal email address for government business, however he did not use a private server kept at his home, as Clinton did.
We rate this claim Mostly False.
The NY Times published the full letter here.