Donald Rumsfeld, the pugnacious, aggressive Secretary of Defense under former President George W. Bush, announced Wednesday his support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Rumsfeld’s action comes as other Bush-era officials have taken positions against the GOP nominee.
Rumsfeld, 83, was interviewed by The Daily Mail and voiced wide support for Trump’s policies. He echoed Trump’s comments that widespread resettlement of Syrian refugees into the United States could be a Trojan Horse for terrorists seeking to enter the county.
“He’s absolutely right,” Rumsfeld said. “Anyone who thinks the radical Islamists are not going to try to utilize every venue they can find to infiltrate in the United States, and in western European countries, to achieve their goals – these people just don’t get it. … They’ve announced what they’re going to do,” he said.
Rumsfeld said that he and Trump arrived at the same conclusion about the refugee crisis, but took different paths.
“We’ve got an enormous obligation” to help fleeing Syrians, he said, “and the United Nations is so incompetent and inept and unhelpful … this refugee problem is the most heartbreaking thing in the world.”
Rumsfeld agreed with Trump that the answer is not mass migration to America, but the creation of safe havens in the Middle East created by regional powers.
“We’ve got an obligation to provide safe zones for them,’ he said. ‘We’ve got to be proactive rather than arguing whether we should have 1,000 or 2,000 or 3,000” in the United States.
Rumsfeld then compared his approach with that of Trump.
“How is what I’ve said different from what he’s said?” he asked. “The way he said it got him the Republican nomination for president. The way I said it makes people’s eyes glaze over” but is “less concerning to some people.”
“The only real difference is one is striking a nerve,” Rumsfeld said.
Rumsfeld also agreed with Trump’s vision for a revamped NATO, saying media characterizations of Trump’s call for changes have not been accurate. He also noted that what Trump called for in terms of a new structure of the alliance is “not far from what I wrote … to President Bush 13 or 14 years ago.”
NATO, he said, was “fashioned during the Truman administration, and they do need to be updated for the 21st century and the information age,” he added.
Rumsfeld said that endorsing Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton was “not a close call.”
“I don’t believe Hillary Clinton is qualified to be President of the United States,” he said, adding, “‘What she has done with classified information I think is inexcusable and puts at risk people’s lives (and) not just ours.”
h/t: The Daily Mail