Ex-Trump national security adviser says US leaders ‘making it easy for Putin’ to meddle

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President Trump’s former national security adviser H.R. McMaster said that Trump and other U.S. leaders are “making it easy” for Russian President Vladimir Putin to meddle in the U.S. election when they echo divisive messages. 

“It’s just wrong. … It’s making it easy for Vladimir Putin,” McMaster told CNN on Tuesday.

McMaster said that Russia is working to interfere in the upcoming presidential election by sowing doubts about its legitimacy. Trump has echoed some of these sentiments, particularly as it relates to mail-in voting. 

“Putin doesn’t create these divisions in our society, he doesn’t create these doubts, he magnifies them, and we just have to be really careful to not be our own worst enemy,” he added.  

McMaster, who released a tell-all book Tuesday, said it was “unfortunate” that Trump used force on protesters in Washington earlier this year for a photo-op outside St. John’s Episcopal Church alongside Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley. McMaster is a retired three-star Army general who had 34 years of active service, including his 13-month tenure at the White House. 

“I think it was unfortunate and I’ll let them speak for themselves on that,” he said, adding that leaders shouldn’t use generals “to make it seem as though the military is somehow endorsing one political party over another.”

Trump has recently touted his support among law enforcement and military during campaign events. 

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