Over 70 former Republican National Security officials endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Thursday, citing President Trump's "corrupt behavior that renders him unfit to serve as president," The New York Times reports.
With a total of 73 signatories, the new letter has more support than a similar letter released in 2016, in which 50 of the nation's senior Republican National Security officials warned that then-candidate Trump "would be the most reckless president in American history." The new letter lays out 10 reasons why Trump "has failed our country," including damaging "America's role as a world leader," proving "unfit to lead during a national crisis," having "aligned himself with dictators" like North Korea's Kim Jong Un and Russia's Vladimir Putin, and having "imperiled America's security by mismanaging his national security team."
Officials who served under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump all signed the letter, including former CIA and FBI chiefs. Notably absent from the list were former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former Chief of Staff John Kelly, former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, and former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who all served in, and were ousted from, the Trump administration. Former National Security Adviser John Bolton also did not sign; he has said he won't support Trump, but refuses to back Biden either.
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Peter Feaver, who served on the National Security Council under the Clinton and Bush administrations, told the Times that "letters like this have some unintended consequences. Trump was able to fund-raise off the 2016 letter and buy himself some anti-establishment street cred. His team even thought the letters were a net plus for him." Read the full letter here.
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