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More than 70 former Republican national security officials announce their support for Biden

“We are profoundly concerned about our nation's security and standing in the world under the leadership of Donald Trump," the officials wrote in an open letter.
Credit: AP
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A group of more than 70 former Republican national security officials has come out in support of Joe Biden, penning scathing criticisms of Donald Trump in an open letter.

The officials, who have served during the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and/or Donald Trump, or as Republican members of Congress, say they are “profoundly concerned about the course of our nation under the leadership of Donald Trump.”

Among the officials who signed the letter are former Director of the CIA and FBI William Webster, former Secretary of Defense and U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, former Director of the CIA and NSA Gen. Michael Hayden, and more high-ranking officials.

In the officials’ letter, they say through his actions and rhetoric, “Trump has demonstrated that he lacks the character and competence to lead this nation and has engaged in corrupt behavior that renders him unfit to serve as President.”

They go on to list ten reasons why they have decided to support Biden for president. They say it’s in “the best interest of our nation that Vice President Joe Biden be elected as the next President.”

One reason cites Trump’s solicitation of Russia and China in the 2016 election, and another says he “imperiled America’s security.”

Another point made by the officials echoes the sentiments of Barack and Michelle Obama, who in their speeches during the Democratic National Convention this week said Trump did not rise to the occasion to handle the national crisis of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t,” former President Obama said in his speech Wednesday night. “And the consequences of that failure are severe. 170,000 Americans dead. Millions of jobs gone while those at the top take in more than ever.”

The night before, former First Lady Obama said, “[Trump] cannot meet this moment.”

In their letter, the officials say Trump has shown that he is unfit to lead during a national crisis.

“Instead of rallying the American people and the world to confront the coronavirus, Trump has spent the past half year spreading misinformation, undermining public health experts, attacking state and local officials, and wallowing in self-pity,” they wrote. “He has demonstrated far greater concern about the fate of his reelection than the health of the American people.”

The officials continue to detail the ten reasons why they are supporting Biden over Trump:

  1. Donald Trump has gravely damaged America’s role as a world leader
  2. Donald Trump has shown that he is unfit to lead during a national crisis
  3. Donald Trump has solicited foreign influence and undermined confidence in our presidential elections
  4. Donald Trump has aligned himself with dictators and failed to stand up for American values
  5. Donald Trump has disparaged our armed forces, intelligence agencies, and diplomats
  6. Donald Trump has undermined the rule of law
  7. Donald Trump has dishonored the office of the presidency
  8. Donald Trump has divided our nation and preached a dark and pessimistic view of America
  9. Donald Trump has attacked and vilified immigrants to our country
  10. Donald Trump has imperiled America’s security by mismanaging his national security team

The officials say although some of their policy positions differ from those of Biden and the Democratic party, those debates must come after “Trump’s assault on our nation’s values and institutions” is stopped, and the moral foundations of the U.S. democracy are restored.

"Donald Trump's four years in the White House have left America isolated abroad, our alliances in tatters, and autocrats like Xi and Putin emboldened," The Biden campaign said in a statement to NEWS CENTER Maine. "This endorsement is a clear sign of both how weak Donald Trump has left the United States globally, and of Vice President Biden's unique ability to pick up the pieces next January by rebuilding critical relationships and standing up for American values and interests against the adversaries that Trump has coddled."

“While we – like all Americans – had hoped that Donald Trump would govern wisely, he has disappointed millions of voters who put their faith in him and has demonstrated that he is dangerously unfit to serve another term,” the letter concludes. “In contrast, we believe Joe Biden has the character, experience, and temperament to lead this nation. We believe he will restore the dignity of the presidency, bring Americans together, reassert America’s role as a global leader, and inspire our nation to live up to its ideals.”

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond for comment.