Former Acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell has endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, saying Republican nominee Donald Trump poses a “threat to our national security.”
Morell endorsed Clinton in a Friday Op-Ed in The New York Times, and cited Trump’s proposed policies toward Russia as a major factor in his endorsement. Morell went so far as to say Trump is now an “unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.” He alludes to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s past as an intelligence officer, trained to identify personality traits and exploit them for his gain. Morell believes Putin played to Trump’s vanity by complimenting him, and was rewarded with Trump’s Russia-friendly policy proposals on Ukraine and NATO.
Morell served 33 years in the CIA, and was with President Bush on 9/11. He rose to the rank of acting director and played a role in every major foreign policy decision from 9/11 to his retirement in 2013. He worked with Clinton for four years in the Obama administration and said she was “prepared, detail-oriented, thoughtful, inquisitive and willing to change her mind if presented with a compelling argument.”
As a veteran of the fight against al-Qaida and the Islamic State he also took umbrage with Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim’s entering the U.S. as a counter-terrorism solution. Morell believes the ban “plays into the hands of the jihadist narrative that our fight against terrorism is a war between religions.” He revealed that the former director of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism center was a Muslim American who was “most responsible for keeping America safe since the Sept. 11 attacks.”
Morell joins a chorus of retired top military and intelligence officials who have criticized Trump. General Michael Hayden, who ran the CIA and NSA, told Politico he would be “very concerned” with a Trump presidency. Retired General John Allen predicted to ABC news, a “civil military crisis” based on Trump’s proposal to waterboard terror suspects.
Morell concluded his endorsement recalling his skills in the CIA, “My training as an intelligence officer taught me to call it as I see it,” continuing “Our nation will be much safer with Hillary Clinton as president.”
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