Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Sunday he would have national security concerns if Donald Trump ran for president again in 2024.
In an interview on face the nation Host Margaret Brennan pointed to a bombastic new book by Mark Esper, who served as Secretary of Defense under Trump, and asked Gates if he thinks the former president could pose a risk to the nation’s security.
“Mark Esper says the former president poses a risk to national security,” she said. “Do you think President Trump running for office again would pose that threat to national security?”
“It would worry me,” said Gates, who served as director of Central Intelligence from 1991 to 1993 and as secretary of defense under George W. Bush and Barack Obama. When Brennan said his response was “a very diplomatic phrase,” Gates continued by saying, “that’s where I am.”
In Esper’s book A Sacred Oath: Reminiscences of a Secretary of Defense in Extraordinary Times, the former defense official paints a disturbing picture of Trump’s tenure. Among other things, Esper said Trump asked why the US military couldn’t “just shoot at George Floyd protesters in Washington, DC.”
“Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot it in the legs or something?” Trump reportedly said that in June 2020. Esper described the moment as “surreal, sitting in front of the Resolute desk in the Oval Office with this idea that was heavy in the air, and the President red-faced and loudly complaining about ongoing protests in Washington, DC”
Esper also said Trump was the “greatest tidbit of all” in government, adding that it was “generally bad” for the country’s security. He also recounted a time when the former president suggested sending missiles to Mexico to “destroy the drug labs” and several instances where he branded colleagues “losers.”
Overall, he described Trump as a “headstrong, unpredictable and unprincipled commander in chief” and said he was specifically responsible for the deadly attack on the US capital on January 6, 2021.
A number of Democrats and activists viewed Trump as a national security threat after the attack on the Capitol that led to the former president’s second impeachment in the House of Representatives. Trump has repeatedly downplayed the event and continued to spread the false narrative that the election was stolen from him due to massive voter fraud.
Soon after the attack, Gates said the current Republican party lacked “values and principles,” noting that he had “serious concerns about the future” of the policy.
“I’ve worked for eight presidents. Five of them were Republicans. I don’t think any of them would recognize the Republican Party today,” he said in May 2021. “I think in terms of the values and principles that the Republican Party that’s been under those five presidents is hard to do nowadays Find.”
news week contacted a Trump representative for further comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/trump-2024-bid-would-concern-me-national-security-front-robert-gates-1708958 Trump 2024 Offer “Would Concern Me” on National Security Front: Robert Gates