Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's cozying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin makes him unfit to be the next US President, a top American nuclear security official has said.
"This is a huge, huge deal. I think that Trump's motivation here to play into Putin's hands is driven by one thing for sure and one thing that I'm deeply concerned about," Mike Morell, former acting director of CIA, told reporters during a conference call yesterday.
"The thing that I'm sure about is that Trump is cozying up to Putin because Putin has played him like a fiddle. Putin has figured out what makes Donald Trump tick and he's playing to it," he said.
Noting that he cannot remember a single time in American history where the US government has accused another government of trying to interfere in its elections, Morrell said, "this is really unprecedented and, as a national security person, it shakes me to my core."
Rather than condemn these efforts, the Republican nominee has actually cheered them on, supported them, alleged Matt Olsen, former head of the National Counter terrorism Center, he said.
"When somebody running for president refuses to acknowledge this kind of threat to the US, not only refusing to acknowledge the threat but refusing to even condemn it, that suggests that Trump does not understand what it takes to defend the US and what is involved in defending the United States and the American people," said Jamie Rubin, Hillary for America Senior Media Advisor for National Security Affairs.
"One of the things that I find fascinating is Donald Trump's absolute refusal to acknowledge Russia's role here. He simply refuses to acknowledge the role, even after his running mate this morning, said that the Russians were behind this," Morrell said.
"It even gets worse than him simply not acknowledging it. In my mind, he's actually cheering it on. He's reading from WikiLeaks material at his rally to the point of parroting now-debunked disinformation. He's encouraging people to read the hacked materials. He is encouraging his attack on our democracy, and I find that amazing and shocking,"he said.
Rubin said on a policy level Trump has praised Putin's leadership.
"He has adopted Putin's talking points, with respect to the attacks on ISIS or not in Syria. And when issues have come up of Putin's crack downs inside Russia, on journalists, on others, he's defended Putin rather than condemn him. The first understanding of what is the national interest is to know what's good for the US, and Trump doesn't seem to understand that," he said.
Morell said he was deeply concerned about the people around Trump - the Paul Manafort's, the Roger Stone's, the Carter Page's - who may have financial or other relationships with Russia.
"They're actually working on behalf of the Russians in getting this material out and spreading it around. I don't want to go overboard here and say I know that for sure. I certainly don't. But I'm deeply concerned about it," he alleged.
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