Former Secretary of Defense, Republican William Cohen, did not mince words as he destroyed Trump in no uncertain terms.
Republican excoriates Trump
All the living former Secretaries of Defense wrote an important open letter recently in the Washington Post.
As former secretaries of defense, we hold a common view of the solemn obligations of the U.S. armed forces and the Defense Department. Each of us swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We did not swear it to an individual or a party.
American elections and the peaceful transfers of power that result are hallmarks of our democracy. With one singular and tragic exception that cost the lives of more Americans than all of our other wars combined, the United States has had an unbroken record of such transitions since 1789, including in times of partisan strife, war, epidemics and economic depression. This year should be no exception.
Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted. Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts. Governors have certified the results. And the electoral college has voted. The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived.
As senior Defense Department leaders have noted, “there’s no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of a U.S. election.” Efforts to involve the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory. Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties, for the grave consequences of their actions on our republic.
William Cohen was one of the defense secretaries that signed on to the letter. He appeared on MSNBC and excoriated Trump. He reminded Americans that Trump gassed protesters as he walked on for a photo op. He enumerated other autocratic behaviors.
But he did not end there. Cohen referred to Trump as shameless. He compared Trump to John Gotti and Vladimir Putin. But he ended with a zinger referencing Trump’s gullibility to conspiracies.
“What is central to our system is the peaceful transfer of power, and that is the message that comes from the letter that was made public,” Cohen said. We want to see a peaceful transfer of power and the president; they’re now saying, well, he may believe these outrageous claims he’s making; therefore, he doesn’t have criminal intent. If he believes these rumors, these suggestions, the stuff on the social media, then that tells you he’s unfit to be president. If he believes in scurrilous rumors and says these are facts and he actually believes that, he ought to be pulled out of the white house right away.
The host was compelled to ask if Cohen was still a Republican, given his poignant attack. He confirmed that, indeed, he is a Republican.
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