Washington — A group of over 70 national security officials who served in Republican administrations are throwing their support to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and warning that President Trump "lacks the character and competence to lead this nation."
In a statement signed by the officials, which include former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, former CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden and former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, the group outlines 10 reasons why Mr. Trump "has failed our country."
The statement comes hours before Biden is set to deliver his speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, which will close out the Democratic National Convention.
"While we — like all Americans — had hoped that Donald Trump would govern wisely, he has disappointed millions of voters who put their faith in him and has demonstrated that he is dangerously unfit to serve another term," the officials wrote. "In contrast, we believe Joe Biden has the character, experience and temperament to lead this nation."
Among the indictments of Mr. Trump cited in the statement is the turnover among top national security officials serving in the administration, his praise for dictators like North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping, and his handling of the coronavirus crisis. The group of national security officials also cite his recent attacks on vote-by-mail and unfounded claims that it leads to voter fraud, as well as his attacks on immigrants.
"While some of us hold policy positions that differ from those of Joe Biden and his party, the time to debate those policy differences will come later," they wrote. "For now, it is imperative that we stop Trump's assault on our nation's value and institutions and reinstate the moral foundations of our democracy."
Those officials who are backing Biden include several who served in the Trump administration, such as John Mitnick, the former general counsel at the Department of Homeland Security who was fired in September, and Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff at the agency. Taylor, who left the Department of Homeland Security in 2019, recorded an advertisement for the group Republican Voters Against Trump denouncing Mr. Trump and calling his presidency "terrifying."
Republicans who are bucking their party and opposing Mr. Trump in his reelection bid have been featured throughout the weeklong Democratic National Convention, which began Monday. On the first night of the convention, four Republicans including former Ohio Governor John Kasich endorsed Biden, and on the second night, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who served in several Republican administrations, announced his support for Biden.