Ex-secretary of defense says he would ‘worry’ if Trump were to act again

  • “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan asked Robert Gates if a Trump presidential bid would pose a threat to national security.
  • During the CBS interview, the ex-secretary of defense expressed “concern” about another Trump candidacy.
  • “That’s where I am,” he said of his feelings about the ex-president.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview that aired Sunday that a 2024 White House candidacy by former President Donald Trump would be “concerned”.

When asked by CBS “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan whether Trump’s possible return to the Oval Office would pose a threat to national security, Gates expressed some hesitation.

“It would worry me,” said Gates, who served as director of Central Intelligence from 1991 to 1993 and the country’s secretary of defense from 2006 to 2011 under former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

When Brennan said his response was “a very diplomatic expression,” Gates admitted that this was his current sentiment.

“That’s where I am,” he replied.

His comments came as Brennan cited Mark Esper’s bombshell book about his time in the Trump administration, in which the ex-secretary of defense said the former president wanted to shoot protesters protesting George Floyd’s death and claimed allies of the former commander-in-chief called him disloyal for refuting Trump’s claims about assassinated Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani.

Gates has not had the warmest words for the former Republican commander in chief in previous interviews.

In a January 2020 PBS interview, Gates called Trump divisive.

“It’s pretty clear that being a unifying president is quite low on the priority of our current incumbent party,” he said at the time. “I think he’s a distributor, and I think he’s very conscious of that.”

The longtime Washington official also had critical words for the Republican Party, stating in a “Face the Nation” interview in May 2021 that the presidents he served would not recognize the current iteration of what the party has become.

“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 at the time.

He added, “The values ​​and principles that the Republican Party stood for under those five presidents are hard to find today.”

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