Donald Trump becoming president would put US security ‘at risk’, 50 high-profile Republican officials claim

The comments in the letter are among some of the most critical Mr Trump has faced 

Mr Trump has concerned many within the national security establishment
Mr Trump has concerned many within the national security establishment

Donald Trump “would be the most reckless president in American history,” according to 50 senior Republican national security officials who have signed a letter that claims he would put the country’s national security at risk.

In perhaps one of the most damning criticisms of Mr Trump’s abilities to date, the officials said the Republican candidate had repeatedly shown poor judgement and a lack of awareness.

“From a foreign policy perspective, Donald Trump is not qualified to be president and commander-in-chief,” says the letter. “Indeed, we are convinced he would be a dangerous president.”

The letter says that none of the officials will vote for Mr Trump

Among the many high-profile signatories are Michael Hayden, former director of CIA and National Security Agency, John Negroponte, who was the first director of national intelligence, Robert Zoellick, former deputy secretary of state and Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, who are former secretaries of homeland security.

Trump says Clinton is 'founder of ISIS'

The letter says Mr Trump has “demonstrated repeatedly that he has little understanding” of the nation’s “vital national interests, its complex diplomatic challenges, its indispensable alliances and the democratic values” on which American policy should be based. And it added that “Mr Trump has shown no interest in educating himself.”

“None of us will vote for Donald Trump,” the letter states, though it says that many Americans “have doubts about Hillary Clinton, as do many of us.”

The New York Times said the letter not only underscored the ongoing concerns about Mr Trump’s candidacy, but a split within the Republican establishment about whether anything can be done to stop him.

It said that many of those who signed it had declined to add their names to a similar open letter released in March. But a number said that they changed their minds once they heard Mr Trump invite Russia to hack into Mrs Clinton’s email server — a comment he later said was just a joke.

On Monday night, Mr Trump issued a statement in which he dismissed the 50 Republican officials as members of the "the failed Washington elite (who) deserve the blame for making the world such a dangerous place".

He added: “These insiders – along with Hillary Clinton – are the owners of the disastrous decisions to invade Iraq, allow Americans to die in Benghazi, and they are the ones who allowed the rise of Isis“

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