A group of Republican former U.S. national security officials is reportedly planning to support Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election against Republican incumbent President Trump.
According to Reuters, the group is comprised of nearly two dozen officials who worked under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. They plan to endorse the presidential hopeful prior to the Democratic National Convention in August, but an official date for going public has not been set.
The group believes a second term for President Trump would be a danger to national security. They argue that their concerns should outweigh policy differences in the eyes of Republican voters.
Leading the collective endorsement are John Bellinger III and Ken Wainstein, both of whom served under George W. Bush’s administration. Bellinger acted as a legal advisor to the National Security Council and State Department and Wainstein was Bush’s homeland security advisor.
Tim Murtaugh, Trump’s campaign communications director, didn’t hold back in a statement addressing Bush-era Republicans’ endorsement of Biden. The statement included an apparent reference to Biden’s 2002 vote in support of the Iraq War.
“Not surprising that the same people who gave us endless wars that led to thousands of deaths and trillions of dollars wasted in the Middle East are siding with a fellow warmonger like Joe Biden,” Murtaugh said.
This isn’t the first time Trump has faced backlash from members of his own party. The Lincoln Project, co-founded by anti-Trump Republican George Conway, is actively running anti-Trump advertisements in key states. Former national security advisor John Bolton also recently joined the ranks of anti-Trump Republicans and said he would not vote for the president in November.
“I don’t think he’s fit for office,” Bolton said in an interview with ABC News. “I don’t think he’s a conservative Republican. I’m certainly not going to vote for Joe Biden either.”
Trump’s team continues to fight back against the ongoing criticism. On Tuesday, Trump traveled to Arizona to bring attention to the completion of 220 miles of the wall along the United States’ border with Mexico, a development the Trump team views as evidence of his national security success.
“My administration has done more than any administration in history to secure our southern border,” President Trump said. “It’s the most powerful and comprehensive border wall structure anywhere in the world.”
In March, he ordered the mobilization of the National Guard in three states that were hit particularly hard by COVID-19. This move allowed the Federal Government to pay for the troops while the governors of New York, California and Washington maintained control.
In December, Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act which included North Korea Nuclear Sanctions, limiting the use of criminal history in federal hiring and contracting and a 3.1% pay raise for the troops.