Trump rattles a lot of people including . . . the GOP national security establishment

by WorldTribune Staff, August 15, 2016

The Republican national security establishment is spooked by Donald Trump.

They are not so concerned about the GOP candidate’s campaign style. No, the main fear is Trump’s threat to cushy Washington, D.C. lifestyles, writes national security correspondent Rowan Scarborough.

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. /Reuters
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. /Reuters

An anti-Trump letter signed by 50 national security Republicans “provided a look inside at Washington’s shadow power structure — the largely unseen roster of former officials who have exchanged their government jobs for the capital’s lucrative corporate landscape,” Scarborough wrote in The Washington Times on Aug. 14

Republicans who have signed the letter include consulting firm chief executive officers, law firm corporate advisers, lobbyists, investors and think tank analysts.

“They trade on their government experience and a $4 trillion federal budget to win clients and make lots of money. Among them: two former homeland security secretaries who opened consulting companies and a former director of national intelligence who joined a similar firm run by a chief of staff for President Bill Clinton,” Scarborough reported.

Trump supporters have hit back hard, charging the establishment types fear the “brash outsider will disrupt what has become a comfortable, wealthy and insulated lifestyle for hundreds of former officials, House members and senators of both parties.”

“The national security establishment is scared of Trump, not necessarily because he’s largely unknown to them, but because he doesn’t care one bit who’s who,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican and one of the first members of Congress to endorse Trump.

“As president, Trump won’t care who did what, or who’s selling what weapons system, and that can have an effect on business and standing, and the defense establishment doesn’t like it.”

Newt Gingrich, who has broken with his establishment brethren, supports Trump and scolds fellow Republicans as “establishment deserters.”

“You’ve got a lot of people who belong to an older model of the Washington insiders system,” Gingrich said on Fox News. “Trump is a direct assault on that system. Part of their endgame is to feel morally virtuous, that they stuck with all of good, decent people who don’t use confusing language.

“Part of it is, I think, he genuinely scares them. Donald Trump is a genuine insurgent,” the former House speaker said. “He is a person who is from outside. He has never been part of the system. He represents new networks of power. New networks of ideas.”

The majority of signers of the anti-Trump letter worked in the Bush administration, and many played a role in Iraq policy, which Trump has criticized.

“What you are looking at are people who helped create a war we are still not winning 15 years into the war,” Gingrich said. “They don’t want to have a debate about the war so they want to have a debate about Trump’s temperament. But the fact is we ought to be debating, ‘How come we are not winning?’ ”

Among the Republicans who signed the letter:

  • Two of Bush’s secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security: Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge. Chertoff left government and founded The Chertoff Group, an international consulting firm.
  • Also signing were two of his associates: former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden and Richard Falkenrath, a former White House aide. Ridge founded Ridge Global LLC consulting firm and sits on corporate boards.
  • Former National Intelligence Director John D. Negroponte. He is an executive at McLarty Associates, founded by Democrat Thomas “Mack” McLarty, who served as White House chief of staff for Clinton.
  • Former U.S. Trade Representative Carla A. Hills. She founded Hills & Co., which does consulting and lobbying and has major corporate clients.
  • Former Assistant Defense Secretary Mary Beth Long. She set up Metis Solutions and has government and business clients, including the Homeland Security and Defense departments.
  • Two former officials who are now executives with Rock Creek Global Advisors, which does consulting and lobbying: Clay Lowery, a former Treasury assistant secretary, and Daniel M. Price, a former deputy White House national security adviser. Rock Creek was founded by Bush’s former White House chief of staff, Josh Bolten, who did not sign the letter.
  • Brian Gunderson, former State Department chief of staff. He runs Elliott Management, a hedge fund.
  • Kristen Silverberg, former assistant secretary of state. She serves on corporate boards and is an adviser to Beacon Global Strategies. Beacon, a consulting firm, was set up by some of Hillary Clinton’s inner circle of aides at the State Department.

Trump thanked the 50 for underscoring his campaign against Washington’s elite:

“These were the people that have been there a long time,” he told Fox Business Network. “Washington establishment people that have been there for a long time. Look at the terrible job they’ve done. I hadn’t planned on using any of these people.”

Said Gingrich: “You’re seeing a very profound shake-up between people who care more about developing policies that work and people who care about belonging to the establishment. Frankly, the establishment folks, whether they’re foreign policy or they’re party apparatchiks, they’re all going in the end to be not for Trump because Trump represents very real change.”

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