Former Hillary for America campaign chairman John Podesta was interviewed on the latest episode of The Global Politico podcast. While there are a few comments in the interview about the 2016 election, the majority of the interview is about President Donald Trump, his firing of FBI Director James Comey, and whether Republicans can impeach Trump without damaging the party. Podesta is critical of Trump’s presidency and still blames Comey for Clinton’s loss last November. He said, “I still think what Jim Comey did last fall was wrong, but he shouldn’t have been fired, given the circumstances that he was leading this investigation.” Read a transcript of the interview HERE, or you can listen to the interview below.
Americans deserve a president who’s ready on Day One to keep us safe. As a former Secretary of State and senator, Hillary Clinton brings vast experience to the Oval Office, having dealt with the key issues facing Americans around the world for decades. Traveling nearly a million miles as America’s top diplomat, Hillary has handled issues ranging from nuclear proliferation to military readiness, from women’s rights to climate change, and is ready to lead from day one.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, has proven himself again and again to be temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief.
Beyond his lack of understanding of foreign policy and unwillingness to learn, Donald Trump is a loose cannon with dangerous views on major global issues. Trump would encourage the spread of nuclear weapons around the world, has insulted our allies and praised several authoritarian dictators. He even encouraged a foreign government to hack Americans, and since then has refused to acknowledge the U.S. Intelligence community’s conclusion that the Russian government has done just that.
Americans deserve a president who understands the challenging world in which we live, not one who is too erratic and uninformed to have control of nuclear weapons.
Throughout his career, and throughout this campaign, on subject after subject, Trump has proven he is unfit to be commander-in-chief. As we begin the final week of the presidential campaign, here is a look back at Trump’s dangerous record on matters of defense and foreign policy:
On nuclear weapons, Donald Trump has displayed a reckless disregard for fact and fails to understand the dangers of nuclear proliferation. Simply put, he doesn’t have the temperament to be trusted with the nuclear codes.
- Trump has said he “loves war.”
- Trump has embraced a reckless “shoot first” foreign policy.
- Trump reportedly wondered why we can’t use nuclear weapons, if we have them.
- Trump said he wanted to be “unpredictable” with nuclear weapons.
- Trump exhibited ignorance on whether he would adopt a “no first use” doctrine.
- Trump would allow countries like Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia to acquire nuclear weapons.
- Trump appeared to have no idea what the nuclear triad
- On the prospect of nuclear war in Asia, Trump said, “good luck, enjoy yourself folks.”
- Trump’s rhetoric pushed dozens former nuclear launch officers to sign a letter saying Trump “should not have his finger on the button.”
U.S. MILITARY AND VETERANS
Trump has repeatedly insulted our military, our veterans and their families. He has been disrespecting our veterans for decades, continually proving he’s unqualified and temperamentally unfit to be commander-in-chief.
- Trump calls our military “a disaster.”
- Trump said “our military can’t beat ISIS.”
- Trump says he watches “the shows” for military advice.
- Trump has said he would consult himself on foreign policy because he has “a very good brain.”
- Trump said, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.”
- Trump said the generals have been “reduced to rubble.”
- Trump said John McCain was “not a war hero” because he was captured.
- Trump suggested veterans experiencing PTSD aren’t “strong.”
- Trump repeatedly criticized a Gold Star family.
- Trump’s businesses have been accused of firing employees for their military service.
- Trump lied over and over again about donating to veterans charities.
- Trump scammed veterans through his sham Trump University.
- Trump attempted to kick disabled veterans off of Fifth Avenue over two decades, calling the situation “deplorable.”
Trump has disparaged the U.S. intelligence community – not only rejecting their conclusions, but questioning their motives.
- When asked whether he trusts intelligence, Trump said “not so much.”
- Trump invited a foreign government to commit cyber espionage in the U.S.
- Trump maintains that we don’t know if Russia is behind recent hacks, despite being personally briefed by Republican Representative Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
- Trump called the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia was behind that hack was “public relations, frankly” and repeatedly denied their conclusion.
- Trump has been accused by a former acting CIA director of being “an unwitting agent of Putin.”
For decades, America has held strong alliances across the world – including those with NATO countries. NATO has stood with the United States, for example, invoking Article 5 after 9/11 and collaborating to fight the war on terror today. But on the campaign trail, Donald Trump has outlined plans to cut off America’s allies.
- Trump said he would be fine if NATO broke up.
- Trump accused NATO countries of ripping off the United States, saying “either they have to pay up… or they have to get out. And if it breaks up NATO, it breaks up NATO.”
- Trump said NATO “may be obsolete” and “doesn’t really help us.”
- Trump said he might not defend NATO allies against Russian aggression.
- Trump has extended his threats past NATO to countries like Japan and South Korea.
Donald Trump seems to have an admiration for dictators from across the world. From Vladimir Putin to Saddam Hussein and beyond, Trump has repeatedly complimented foreign leaders known for their records of oppression and abuse..
- Trump said North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un deserves “credit” for taking out his rivals and has “got to be pretty smart.”
- Trump gave Saddam Hussein unduecredit, saying “he did one thing well, he killed terrorists.”
- Trump believes that, during the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Chinese government showed “strength.”
- Trump thinks Vladimir Putin is a better leader than President Obama, “saying in terms of leadership, he’s getting an A and our president is not doing so well.” (But of course, his praise for Putin doesn’t stop there.)
FOREIGN BUSINESS ENTANGLEMENTS
Trump’s extensive foreign dealings would present significant conflicts of interest and endanger our national security. Trump refuses to disclose the full extent of his foreign business entanglements – but without knowing the details of them, how will Americans know whose interests Trump is putting first? What we do know is concerning.
- Trump has extensive global financial dealings.
- Trump admitted that if his business interests were threatened by another country’s government, he would retaliate with the power of the US government.
- Trump has a record of business dealings with foreign governments – including Iran and China that we don’t know the extent of.
- Trump has also had numerous foreign business partners we don’t know much about – including one that is allegedly linked to an international money laundering network.
- Trump is in debt to foreign institutions for hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Trump’s foreign entanglements would pose unprecedented challenges for U.S. foreign policy and national security.
Despite Trump’s claims that he has a “secret” plan to defeat ISIS, he has no real plan at all. And his rhetoric is dangerously playing into terrorists’ hands.
- Trump would “ask [his] generals” – the very same generals he believes he knows more than – for a plan to defeat ISIS, since he doesn’t currently have any plan at all.
- Trump would continue to promote Russia’s brutal bombing campaign in Syria that is targeting civilians instead of ISIS.
- Trump has suggested he would allow Syria to become a “free zone for ISIS.”
- Trump would ban Muslims from entering the U.S., a policy that feeds radical jihadist propaganda.
- Trump would engage in torture in the fight against ISIS and kill the families of terrorists.
Donald Trump’s approach to Iran is devoid of any substance. He has prefered to denigrate American leaders and spew lies when it comes to Iran — though he was willing to deal with Iran when it made him money.
- Trump has repeatedly lied about the Iran deal.
- Trump has also repeatedly lied about Iran’s release of Americans.
- Trump has peddled falsehoods about Iran’s ability to pursue a nuclear weapon.
- Trump has been exposed as a lessor to Iranian bank linked to terrorism.
Trump doesn’t understand the threat North Korea poses. On the campaign trail, Trump has taken positions that would endanger the security of the United States and our allies and embolden North Korea.
- Trump would meet with Kim Jong-Un, despite his continued violations of international obligations to abandon his nuclear and missile programs.
- Trump would consider cutting off defense support to Japan and South Korea.
- Trump would open to door to nuclear proliferation in the region. When asked whether it’s “fine” for Japan and South Korea to get nuclear weapons, Trump said, “Can I be honest with you? It’s going to happen anyway.”
- Trump joked about the prospect of nuclear war between Japan and North Korea, saying “good luck, enjoy yourself folks.”
While Clinton has stood up to Russia, Trump panders to Putin. He has voiced support for policies and positions that align exactly with the Kremlin’s interests.
- Trump backed Brexit and celebrated the result of the vote.
- Trump casually predicts the dissolution of the EU.
- Trump calls NATO obsolete, says he wouldn’t mind leaving it and threatens to shirk our responsibility to defend our NATO allies unless they pay up.
- Trump criticized the U.S. for resisting Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Ahead of the GOP convention, Trump’s campaign bucked fellow Republicans by maneuvering to ensure the party platform no longer calls for arming the Ukrainians, and then lied about it.
- Trump has floated permanently ceding Crimea to Russia as well as lifting sanctions, after he seemingly had no idea Russia invaded Crimea two years ago.
- Trump has even encouraged Russian espionage to interfere in our election on his behalf, and denied the Kremlin’s evident involvement in hacks on U.S. political entities, a strategy Putin has deployed across Europe to try to install candidates reminiscent of Trump.
- Trump announced he would meet with Putin prior to the start of his administration, if elected president.
To date, Donald Trump has not laid out any real plans with respect to Syria or offered any indication that he takes the conflict and humanitarian disaster seriously.
- Trump suggested Syria should be a “free zone for ISIS.”
- Trump raised the possibility of sending 20,000 – 30,000 U.S. ground troops to Syria and Iraq.
- Trump praised and encouraged Russia’s brutal bombing campaign in Syria, despite the climbing total civilian casualties and attacks on U.S.-backed forces.
Tim Kaine campaigned in Michigan today were he began with a rally at a local fire station in Taylor. During his speech, Kaine spoke about Hillary’s presidential platform and her plans to create jobs by investing in manufacturing and infrastructure, support labor unions and their right to collectively bargain, raise the minimum wage, and make college more affordable. Kaine had a populist tone as he went after Republican Donald Trump for his rhetoric and comments against women and minorities. He said that unlike their opponent, he and Clinton will not focus on themselves, but every American and their families. Kaine wrapped up the event by urging everyone to vote on November 8th or to take advantage of early voting. A video from the event is below.
Kaine then traveled to Warren where he addressed the Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights. During his speech, Kaine focus on the economy and Clinton’s dedication to the middle class. He specifically spoke about jobs and Clinton’s plans to invest in manufacturing and infrastructure. He said, “If we do these basic things that Hillary Clinton planned, independent analysts say that our economy will grow ten and a half million jobs in the first four years.” Kaine also spoke about Clinton’s support for organized labor and guaranteed that a Clinton/Kaine administration would guarantee employee’s right to unionize and collectively bargain. A video from the event will be posted when/if available.
This weekend, Hillary Clinton picked up the endorsement of local and national newspapers and magazines. First, Clinton was endorsed by The Philadelphia Inquirer, the paper’s editorial board concluded, “The erratic behavior Trump has displayed isn’t what one wants to see in a commander-in-chief, and his praise for Russia’s Vladimir Putin is dangerous. Clinton has been careful not to antagonize President Obama’s supporters by criticizing his Middle East policy, but she has hinted at taking a more vigorous approach. She has exhibited the tough demeanor needed to deal with recalcitrant foreign powers. But she hasn’t lost the compassion for families and children that has long been a guiding force in her life. Despite our reservations, HILLARY CLINTON is far better than Trump or anyone else running. She should be president.”
On Sunday, Clinton was endorsed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the editorial board for the paper made it clear that they prefer Clinton over Trump despite her shortcomings. In the op-ed, the board points out that through Clinton’s controversies and career, she has remained strong saying, “While many have pointed out Clinton’s shortcomings as a candidate, it must be said that she has displayed a continued grace and courage under rhetorical fire, with Trump attacking her health and her looks, and even dredging up her spouse’s decades-old infidelities. Through it all, she has maintained her composure and stayed on task. Those are the qualities needed in a president, not the boorish behavior and explosive temperament repeatedly shown by Trump.”
The New Yorker endorsed Clinton on Sunday as well. The magazine’s board concludes that Clinton is the far better choice, but they warn that this election may have far reaching effects given the seeds of hatred and divisiveness that have been planted by Trump during the campaign cycle. They said, “On every issue of consequence, including economic policy, the environment, and foreign affairs, Hillary Clinton is a distinctly capable candidate: experienced, serious, schooled, resilient. When the race began, Clinton, who has always been a better office-holder than a campaigner, might have anticipated a clash of ideas and personalities on the conventional scale, against, say, Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. Instead, the Democratic nominee has ended up playing a sometimes secondary role in a squalid American epic. If she is elected, she will have weathered a prolonged battle against a trash-talking, burn-it-to-the-ground demagogue. Unfortunately, the drama is not likely to end soon. The aftereffects of this campaign may befoul our civic life for some time to come.”
On Wednesday, it was announced that representatives of the Colombian government and FARC had reached a peace agreement. The agreement ends nearly fifty years of war that has cost over 200,000 lives. Negotiations between the two groups began in November 2012. Hillary Clinton released a statement cautiously celebrating the end of warfare in Colombia and promised that, if she is elected president, the United States would remain a partner in the ongoing peace process. A copy of Clinton’s statement is below.
“I join people around the world in celebrating the historic peace agreement in Colombia, which brings to a close the longest-running internal armed conflict in the Americas. I applaud those who forged this pact. And I’m proud of the American diplomats who supported them at every step along the way. Now Colombia must turn this agreement into a just and lasting peace. As President, I’ll ensure that the United States remains their partner in that process. The people of Colombia deserve nothing less. And the safety and security of our hemisphere and world will be strengthened by Colombia’s success.
After more than 50 years of war, a new day now dawns in Colombia. The road ahead is long. But this long-awaited milestone is worth celebrating.”
News Source: The Wall Street Journal