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Former Secretary of Defense: Trump ‘unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief’

Robert Gates had strong words for both candidates in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

CREDIT: AP PHOTO/ALEX BRANDON
CREDIT: AP PHOTO/ALEX BRANDON

Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates is not a big fan of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton’s ideas about foreign policy. But when it comes to national security, he only thinks one candidate — Trump — is “beyond repair.”

In a scathing op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, Gates — who served under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama — takes both candidates to task for their ideas about dealing with potentially hostile relations in China, Russia, the Middle East, and beyond.

Of Clinton, Gates writes that she has “has much-discussed credibility issues apart from national security, but these also influence foreign perceptions of reliability and trust.” He criticizes the Democratic candidate for her role in the United State’s intervention in Libya, and for her decision to support — and then oppose — the Iraq War.

But Gates saves his harshest words for Trump, who he says is “in a league of his own” when it comes to credibility issues. He brings up Trump’s support of autocrats like Vladimir Putin and dictators like Saddam Hussein, Trump’s calls for torture and the killing of terrorist’s families, and Trump’s willingness to allow Japan and South Korea to develop their own nuclear weapons.

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“At least on national security, I believe Mr. Trump is beyond repair,” Gates concludes. “He is stubbornly uninformed about the world and how to lead our country and government, and temperamentally unsuited to lead our men and women in uniform. He is unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief.”

Trump, unsurprisingly, was unhappy with Gates’ op-ed, taking to Twitter to voice his disapproval of the former Secretary of Defense’s tenure.

In response to Trump’s tweet, NPR Morning Edition reporter Steve Inskeep implored Trump to come on his show and do an interview about foreign policy. According to Inskeep, Trump’s staff agreed to such an interview almost 250 days ago.

As of publication, the Trump campaign had not responded to ThinkProgress’ inquiry as to whether Trump has any plans to go on NPR Morning Edition.