Ex-Bush official backs Clinton for president

Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is backing Hilary Clinton over Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGraham: 'I could not disagree more' with Trump support of Afghanistan troop withdrawal GOP believes Democrats handing them winning 2022 campaign Former GOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer resigns MORE for the White House.

Chertoff's support for Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, is notable not only because of his work for President George W. Bush's administration but because he was a Republican prosecutor who led the congressional investigation into the Whitewater controversy involving the Clintons' real estate investments.

“I realized we spent a huge amount of time in the '90s on issues that were much less important than what was brewing in terms of terrorism,” said Chertoff, who served as the lead GOP counsel on the Senate Whitewater Committee, during an interview with Bloomberg published Monday.


“[Clinton] has good judgment and a strategic vision of how to deal with the threats that face us,” he said.

“People can go back decades and perhaps criticize some of the judgments that were made. That is very, very insignificant compared to the fundamental issue of how to protect the country.”

The life-long Republican added that he could not back Trump, the Republican nominee, following his presidential debate with Clinton last week.

“Trump’s sense of loyalties are misplaced,” he said.

Chertoff is just the latest Republican involved with defense and national security issues to break with Trump. He said he would back Clinton, highlighting statements Trump has made on foreign policy issues.

“Some of our NATO allies sent troops overseas. At the same time he is defending Russia and trying to dismiss what was widely acknowledged to be Russian intrusions into the databases of our political parties and political figures.”

Chertoff said Trump’s remarks on Russia during the debate amounted to “making enemies of your friends and cozying up to your adversaries.”

Chertoff added that he dislikes Trump’s past criticism of a former Miss Universe.

“This issue came up at the debate about Miss Universe,” he said, referring to Alicia Machado, a Clinton supporter.

“Not only did he seem at the debate to lose his temper, but to get up at 3:30 a.m. and reach for your smartphone is to me a hysterical reaction,” Chertoff said of Trump’s criticism of Machado after the contest. "If you’re president, the button you reach for is not the Twitter button; it’s the nuclear button."

The Whitewater controversy began with an investigation into Bill and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro Chelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' MORE’s real estate investments in Arkansas.

The Clintons, then governor and first lady of Arkansas, invested and lost money in the Whitewater Development Corporation.