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Robert Gates on Trump running for office again: ‘It would concern me’

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in a new interview said another run for office by former President Trump would “concern” him.

Asked by moderator Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” if Trump running for office again would pose a threat to national security, Gates said, “It would concern me.”

“That’s a very diplomatic phrase,” Brennan responded, to which Gates said, “That’s where I am.”

Gates served as Defense secretary between 2006 and 2011, working under both former Presidents George W. Bush and Obama. He also led the CIA from 1991 until 1993.

In January 2020, Gates told PBS NewsHour that Trump was a “divider.”

“It’s quite clear that being a unifying president is pretty low on the priority of our current incumbent. I think he is a divider, and I think he does so quite consciously,” he said.

Gates has been critical of the GOP. Last May, he told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he did not think the five GOP presidents he worked for would recognize the current Republican Party.

“I would have serious concerns about the future. You know, I’ve … worked for eight presidents. Five of them were Republicans. I don’t think any of them would recognize the Republican Party today,” Gates said. “I think in terms of the values and the principles that the Republican Party stood for under those five presidents are hard to find these days.”

In October, he commented on the “extreme polarization” in the U.S., telling “60 Minutes” that the “greatest threat is found within the two square miles that encompass the White House and the Capitol Building.”

Gates on Sunday also commented on the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. He called that day “a huge blight on our democracy.”

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack is set to hold its first of eight hearings next month. Asked by Brennan if he thinks there is value in having the hearings aired publicly, he said, “I think so, yes.”

“I think people need to understand. My worry is that people will- that everybody will retreat to their ideological corner. And, and so nobody will— nobody will listen. I think maybe the best thing to do is just to rerun the videos,” he added.

Tags Donald Trump Margaret Brennan Robert Gates
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