Several Republicans joined former ambassadors, senior administration officials, and military officers to condemn Donald Trump on Thursday for his "disgraceful" comments regarding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Russia.
The 37 signatories of the open letter, first obtained by the Washington Post, denounced Trump’s recent statements calling into question whether the Republican nominee would honor America’s longstanding commitment to guarantee military protection to NATO allies that come under attack.
The signatories, who include former secretary of state Madeline Albright, also criticized Trump’s calls for Russia to hack and release Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 deleted State Department emails and his consideration to recognize Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, which the U.S. deems illegitimate.
"We find Trump’s comments to be reckless, dangerous, and extremely unwise. They contradict a core, bipartisan principle found in every U.S. administration–that our security in North America is indivisible with our democratic allies in Europe," the signatories wrote.
"Trump’s ill-considered statements have already sown doubt in the minds of our European partners as to whether they can count on American resolve, commitment, and strength in the future," the letter reads.
Republican signatories include Ian Brzezinski, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO policy under George W. Bush; Damon Wilson, a senior NATO and European affairs adviser to Bush; and Republican foreign policy expert Kori Schake, who has separately endorsed Clinton.
Trump’s call last week for Russia to find Clinton’s deleted emails from her private email server drew condemnation from both parties. Two weeks earlier, he stunned foreign policy experts when he told the New York Times that he would not automatically defend NATO allies if they were attacked.
"A solemn obligation of the American President is to lead NATO, to remain resolute in defense of our allies, and to convince potential adversaries that we will stand up for NATO without fear or reservation," the signatories wrote.
"Every President, without exception, has accepted the wisdom of this strategy. That is why we find Trump’s cavalier denigration of NATO so worrying and so objectionable," they added.