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Edelman: Trump Lacks Basic Knowledge of Foreign Policy

• August 10, 2016 12:17 pm

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Eric Edelman, former under secretary of defense for policy under George W. Bush, explained Tuesday why he joined 49 other Republican national security officials in signing letter that says Donald Trump would put the country’s security and well-being at risk as president.

CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked Edelman what his biggest concern about a Trump presidency is.

"I think he fundamentally lacks the knowledge, the character, and temperament to be president of the United States," Edelman said. "I think he’s shown that repeatedly during the debates, during the campaign."

"His lack of understanding of the nuclear triad, his apparent lack of understanding of the fundamental basis of nuclear deterrence," Edelman continued. "He’s calling into question our extended deterrent guarantees to allies. All of that suggests to me that he’s not fit to be president."

Blitzer asked Edelman if there was any involvement by the Clinton campaign to get the 50 senior GOP national security officials to sign on to the letter. Edelman said that he was not aware if the Clinton campaign was involved but was asked by John Bellinger, a national security official in the George W. Bush administration, to sign it. He said that he had previously signed other anti-Trump letters.

After the letter was released, the Trump campaign lashed out, saying that if the American people wanted answers on why the Middle East is a mess,they should look to the signers of the letter.

"I think what he is really doing in his answer is what he always does, which is to just attack critics without any substance to the criticism," Edelman said.

Edelman said that Trump has not had a serious discussion on how to deal with Russia and China or how to support U.S. allies. What Trump did was, according to Edelman, just continue a character assault on his critics.