Robert Gates, who served as secretary of defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, wrote a fiery op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Friday night, questioning both presidential candidates’ abilities on national security.
Speaking on dealing with threats from China, Gates wrote: “On this most complex challenge, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has said or done much to give anyone confidence.”
He also criticized Clinton for ruling out ground troops in the fight against terrorism, as well as her role in the “ill-fated regime change in Libya” and apparent flip-flop on international trade agreements.
But Gates, also the former president of the Boy Scouts of America, said there was a chance that Clinton could “address forthrightly her trustworthiness…and judgement.”
Calling Trump “willfully ignorant of the rest of the world”, he called into question the New York businessman’s competency to be the next commander-in-chief:
“When it comes to credibility problems, Donald Trump is in a league of his own,” Gates wrote in a scathing final paragraph:
“On national security, I believe Mr. Trump is beyond repair.
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 fired back Saturday, calling Gates’ tenure as head of the Defense Department “a total disaster.”
I never met former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He knows nothing about me. But look at the results under his guidance - a total disaster!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 17, 2016
“I never met former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He knows nothing about me. But look at the results under his guidance - a total disaster!” Trump tweeted.
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