Trump fails to impress his own party’s security experts

RSTV Bureau
Detroit : Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump shakes hands with his running mate, Republican vice presidential candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Photo - AP/PTI

Detroit : Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump shakes hands with his running mate, Republican vice presidential candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Photo – AP/PTI

In what could be seen as a blow to Donald Trump, even in perception, fifty top Republican national security experts, including the veterans from Nixon to Bush administrations, have come out openly against party nominee. In a sharp comment they said Donald Trump would make “the most reckless president in American history” if elected.

The business tycoon-turned politician “lacks” the required character, values and self-control, said the group as it listed “dangerous qualities” in an individual “who aspires to become President and Commander-in-Chief, with command of the US nuclear arsenal” that could the country’s safety to risk.

“None of us will vote for Donald Trump,” said the group that includes former homeland security chiefs, intelligence directors, senior presidential advisors and a former US trade representative.

They signed an open letter declaring Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be the President and would “weaken the US’ moral authority”.

“From a foreign policy perspective, Trump is not qualified to be the 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,” they said.

Cleveland : Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump smiles as he addresses delegates during the final day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. AP/PTI

Cleveland : Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump smiles as he addresses delegates during the final day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. AP/PTI

The letter questions his knowledge of and belief in the US Constitution, and says he has “demonstrated repeatedly that he has little understanding” of the country’s “vital national interests, its complex diplomatic challenges, its indispensable alliances and the democratic values’ on which the foreign policy should be based”.

In a scathing criticism, the group further laments that “Mr. Trump has shown no interest in educating himself”.

In its statement issued on Monday, the group said Trump appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the US laws and US institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press and an independent judiciary.

“He lacks self-control and acts impetuously. He cannot tolerate personal criticism. He has alarmed our closest allies with his erratic behaviour. All of these are dangerous qualities in an individual who aspires to be President and Commander-in-Chief, with command of the US nuclear arsenal,” they said.

Not taking his criticism lying down, Trump hit back calling the group “nothing more than the failed Washington elite looking to hold onto their power”.

He went to say that they should be “held accountable” for making the world less safe and they were the reason why world is “a mess.”

The major setback for Trump was followed by top Republican Senator Susan Collins saying she would not vote for him as he lacks the “temperament” and “judgement” required for the post. “I will not be voting for Donald Trump for President,” Collins, who represents the State of Maine in the US Senate said in an op-ed in The Washington Post.

(With inputs from the PTI)