This may be the biggest endorsement that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has gotten since the primary season ended. His biggest weakness with voters has long been his perceived lack of experience on foreign policy, which has been exacerbated by the foreign policy establishment’s general embrace of Hillary Clinton. While Clinton likely plans to pursue many of Barack Obama’s failed policies abroad, she has generally toed the foreign policy line that the political establishment has been parroting for years. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has taken a different tack on issues dealing with Russia, China, the Middle East, and Latin America. These differences have made it difficult for him to find supporters in the foreign policy community that could help him reassure voters.
That’s no longer a problem.
Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, who was appointed and served under President Bill Clinton, came out this week and announced that he would joining the Trump campaign and advising Mr. Trump on foreign policy.
Woolsey said that he could not support Clinton because of her unwillingness to sacrifice her own self-interests and to safeguard our secrets.
“She demonstrated a complete lack of understanding and an inability to lead the agency she headed in such a way as to maintain its mission and security,” Woolsey said in a statement. “Based on the emails thus far released we know that Secretary Clinton also lacks the ability to lead her senior managers while complying with and maintaining the basic protocols designed to protect our government’s sensitive and classified information. Mr. Trump understands the magnitude of the threats we face and is holding his cards close to the vest.”
Later in an interview with CNN, Woolsey cited Trump’s ability to safeguard our secrets (better than Clinton has) and his budget plans as reasons for throwing his support to Mr. Trump.
“He seems to be, more so than his opponent, in favor of a strong defense budget. We’ve got a lot of space to make up and problems that have been left in defense by the Obama administration.”
Woolsey’s endorsement and advice may go a long way to helping Trump close the foreign policy gap that he’s thus far encountered with Hillary Clinton. Also, now that Woolsey has joined the team, one wonders if other foreign policy experts will begin lining up with Trump as well. With the debates around the corner, the Trump team certainly seems to be getting their political affairs in order, which can’t be welcome news for the Clinton campaign.