Trump 2024 offer ‘would concern me’ on national security front: Robert Gates


Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said on Sunday he would be concerned about national security if Donald Trump ran for president again in 2024.

In an interview on Facing the nation, Host Margaret Brennan referenced an explosive new book by Mark Esper, who served as defense secretary under Trump, and asked Gates if he thought the former president might pose a security risk to the country .

“Mark Esper says the former president is a national security risk,” she said. “Do you believe President Trump running for office again would present this threat to national security?”

“That would concern me,” said Gates, who served as Director of Central Intelligence from 1991 to 1993 and Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush and Barack Obama. When Brennan said her response was “a very diplomatic phrase,” Gates went on to state “that’s where I am.”

Robert Gates said on Sunday that he would be concerned about national security if Donald Trump ran for office in 2024. Here Gates is seen in Mt. Vernon, Washington, December 15, 2014.
David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

In Esper’s book, A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense in Extraordinary Times, the former defense official paints a disturbing picture of Trump’s tenure. Among other claims, Esper said Trump asked why the US military couldn’t “just shoot” George Floyd protesters in Washington, D.C.

“Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?” Trump reportedly said in June 2020. Esper described the moment as “surreal, sitting outside the Resolute Desk, inside the Oval Office, with this idea hanging heavy in the air, and the president red-faced and loudly complaining ongoing protests in Washington, DC »

Esper also said Trump was the administration’s “biggest backer of them all,” adding that it was “generally bad” for the country’s security. He also recounted a time when the former president suggested launching missiles into Mexico to “destroy the drug labs”, and several instances in which he berated his colleagues as “losers”.

Overall, he described Trump as an “idiosyncratic, unpredictable and unprincipled commander-in-chief”, and said he was explicitly responsible for the deadly January 6, 2021 attack on the US capitol.

A number of Democrats and activists viewed Trump as a national security threat following the attack on Capitol Hill, which resulted in the former president’s second impeachment in the House of Representatives. Trump has repeatedly downplayed the event and continued to push the false narrative that the election was stolen from him due to massive voter fraud.

Shortly after the attack, Gates said the current Republican Party lacked “values ​​and principles” and noted that he had “serious concerns about the future” of politics.

“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 that in terms of the values ​​and principles that the Republican Party championed under those five presidents is hard to come by these days.”

Newsweek contacted a Trump representative for additional comment.


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