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Robert Gates says ‘there aren’t enough’ Republicans denouncing white supremacy


Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in a new interview said “there aren’t enough” Republicans denouncing white supremacy, after members of the party came under fire amid accusations that their rhetoric has contributed to the racist ideology.

Asked during an interview with moderator Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” if he thinks Republican leaders are enabling white nationalism, white supremacy and antisemitism, Gates said he would not go that far, but asserted that the number of GOP lawmakers denouncing such ideals is not enough.

“I don’t know that I would go that far. I do know that there aren’t enough of them denouncing those things, denouncing white supremacy,” Gates said in the interview, which aired on Sunday.

He said too many individuals are involved in politics to promote their own agenda and personal aspirations instead of focusing on what is in the best interest of the country, noting that such behavior is apparent on both sides of the aisle.

“We have too many people who- who are in politics to further their own agendas and to further their own personal prospects rather than what’s good for the country. And I would say that’s true in both parties,” Gates said.

His comments came after a gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y. last weekend, shooting 13 people, 11 of whom were black. Ten individuals died.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who was ousted from House GOP leadership after refusing to back former President Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, wrote on Twitter last Monday that the “House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and antisemitism.”

“History has taught us that what begins with words ends in far worse,” she added. “@GOP leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them.”

Republican House leaders defended their conduct, regarding the accusations as all politics.

Sunday’s remarks were not the first time Gates, who served Defense secretary from 2006 until 2011 under both former Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, has been critical of the GOP.

Speaking to “Face the Nation” last May, the former Pentagon chief said he did not think the five Republican presidents he worked for would recognize the GOP today.

“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, who has also served as CIA director, 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 the interview that aired on Sunday, Gates also said it would “concern” him if Trump ran for office again.

Tags Liz Cheney Margaret Brennan Robert Gates Trump

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