The Slatest

Former CIA Chief: Trump Would Be Dangerous Commander in Chief

“Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security.”

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Michael Morell worked in the CIA for 33 years, serving under Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. He was with President Bush on 9/11 when the second plane struck the South Tower and told him immediately that it had to be al-Qaida. He was a key adviser to President Obama ahead of the 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. He was deputy director of the CIA from 2010 to 2013 before retiring from the agency, and twice served as acting director of the CIA. Basically, he is one of the most knowledgeable current or former intelligence officials on the issue of national security in the entire country.

What does Michael Morell have to say about the potential for a Donald J. Trump presidency?

“Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security.”

Morell wrote this in a scathing op-ed in the New York Times published on Friday and titled “I Ran the C.I.A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton.

Morell continues:

In sharp contrast to Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump has no experience on national security. Even more important, the character traits he has exhibited during the primary season suggest he would be a poor, even dangerous, commander in chief.

These traits include his obvious need for self-aggrandizement, his overreaction to perceived slights, his tendency to make decisions based on intuition, his refusal to change his views based on new information, his routine carelessness with the facts, his unwillingness to listen to others and his lack of respect for the rule of law.

And there’s more!

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was a career intelligence officer, trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated.

Mr. Putin is a great leader, Mr. Trump says, ignoring that he has killed and jailed journalists and political opponents, has invaded two of his neighbors and is driving his economy to ruin. Mr. Trump has also taken policy positions consistent with Russian, not American, interests—endorsing Russian espionage against the United States, supporting Russia’s annexation of Crimea and giving a green light to a possible Russian invasion of the Baltic States.

In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.

Morell, who started his career during the height of the Cold War but continued to advance in the agency through the war on terror, also says Trump’s proposed Muslim ban “plays into the hands of the jihadist narrative that our fight against terrorism is a war between religions.”

“In fact, many Muslim Americans play critical roles in protecting our country, including the man, whom I cannot identify, who ran the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorism Center for nearly a decade and who I believe is most responsible for keeping America safe since the Sept. 11 attacks,” Morell added.

Basically, Morell argues, Trump is already giving succor to America’s worst enemies and if he becomes president God only knows what will happen to you and everyone you love dear. Happy general election, everyone!

Read more of Slate’s election coverage.