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Donald Trump wins the support of nearly 90 retired military leaders

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at the Ziegler Building at the Washington County Fair Park & Conference Center in West Bend, Wisconsin August 16, 2016. 

REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Donald Trump won the support of nearly 90 retired military leaders in an open letter released by the campaign on Tuesday.

The letter, first reported by the New York Times, was organized by 40-year Army general and Holocaust survivor Major Gen. Sidney Shachnow (ret) and Rear Admiral Charles Williams (ret), laid out several national security threats and military challenges to the safety of Americans across the country --  from slashes in the defense budget to strife caused by Islamic radicalization.

“In our professional judgment, the combined effect is potentially extremely perilous,” the letter read. “We support Donald Trump and his commitment to rebuild our military, to secure our borders, to defeat our Islamic supremacist adversaries and restore law and order domestically.”

The letter surfaced during a week in which the GOP nominee is highlighting veterans’ issues and national security. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump, and Clinton will both participate in a NBC/MSNBC forum dedicated to the subject. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the political aisle, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton released a campaign advertisement that takes a slap at Trump’s shaky record with veterans.

“Sacrifice” features former Sen. Max Cleland and veterans--a few who bear the visible scars of war-- who silently watch Trump deliver remarks that have been frequently described as “insensitive” and “offensive” by outspoken critics. The ad concludes with text that reads “our veterans deserve better.”

Sacrifice | Hillary Clinton by Hillary Clinton on YouTube

The ad is set to air on cable and in several battleground states-- Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. 

Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine are also emphasizing national security this week. Kaine spoke on national security at a speech in Wilmington, North Carolina, while Clinton will discuss national security at a rally at the University of South Florida in Tampa, according to a statement released by the Clinton campaign.

  • Julia Boccagno

    Julia Boccagno is a news associate for CBS News.