Just under 500 retired senior military officers, former Cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, and other officials, including some admirals and generals who served under President Donald Trump, have come out in support of Democrat nominee Joe Biden, saying the president has "failed to meet challenges large or small."
In their letter, published Thursday by National Security Leaders for Biden, the retired leaders said the former vice president has the "character, principles, wisdom and leadership necessary to address a world on fire."
"While some of us may have different opinions on particular policy matters, we trust Joe Biden's positions are rooted in sound judgment, thorough understanding, and fundamental values," they wrote, reports NBC News.
"The current President has demonstrated he is not equal to the enormous responsibilities of his office; he cannot rise to meet challenges large or small," the letter says. "Thanks to his disdainful attitude and his failures, our allies no longer trust or respect us, and our enemies no longer fear us."
The letter includes signatures from officers who retired in the past few years, including Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, who was vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Trump before he retired in August 2019; Vice Adm. Gardner Howe, a Navy SEAL leader who also retired last year; and retired Adm. Paul Zukunft, who was over the Coast Guard until 2018.
It also includes the signatures of 22 retired four-star military officers and several former national security officials and diplomats, including former FBI and CIA Director William Webster. Former Defense Secretaries William Perry, William Cohen, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, and Ash Carter also added their endorsements, as did several retired African American military leaders.
Retired Adm. Steve Abbot, who served as commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet and commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces in Southern Europe who later became Bush's acting homeland security adviser, said he believes he has a duty to speak out as a citizen and that he was troubled when Trump slammed Sen. John McCain in 2016.
The letter comes after more than 70 former senior national security officials, mostly Republicans, also signed a letter endorsing Biden.
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