Hagel: Trump is 'an embarrassment'

Hagel: Trump is 'an embarrassment'
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Former Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelOvernight Defense: US, Russia tensions grow over nuclear arms | Highlights from Esper's Asia trip | Trump strikes neutral tone on Hong Kong protests | General orders ethics review of special forces Five takeaways from Pentagon chief's first major trip Esper given horse in Mongolia as US looks for new inroads against China MORE tore into President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE after the president reportedly referred to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as "shithole countries."

"Donald Trump is doing great damage to our country internationally," Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, told the Lincoln Journal Star.

"He's an embarrassment."

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He also accused the president of "intentionally dividing the country and the world."

Hagel also noted that lawmakers take an oath of office to the Constitution when they assume office.

"We take an oath of office not to a president, not to a party, not to a philosophy, but to the Constitution of the United States," he said.

"I was philosophically a Republican with a conservative voting record," Hagel said, "but that did not mean I would always go along with the party."

In the end, he said, it's necessary to "make a decision based on the right thing for the country."
 
He also said he believes the U.S. and the world have started "a defining year, a year of volatility and uncertainty and great danger."

"We have not really seen these kind of times since Watergate and Vietnam," he said.

Hagel has been critical of Trump in the past as well. Last year, the decorated Vietnam War veteran expressed his disgust with Trump's treatment of the families of slain soldiers, saying Trump's behavior "sickens him."