Potential Trump adviser claimed role in secret Libya peace talks

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A retired Navy admiral, whom Donald Trump has named as a potential foreign policy adviser, once claimed credit for secret talks he said could have averted the Libyan civil war.

Retired Navy Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic left the Navy in 2005 and started his own consulting business. He has claimed that in 2011, when NATO began its bombing campaign against Moammar Gadaffi, he tried to set up talks between the then Libyan leader and rebel groups.

Kubic who was in Libya doing business until February 2011 claimed contacts told him Ghaddafi was “ready to step aside.” 

{mosads}”He was willing to go into exile and was willing to end the hostilities,” Kubic said at an event at the National Press Club in April 2014, discussing his efforts.

Kubic said he ran it up the chain of command at U.S. Africa Command, but after receiving interest, was told to stand down. 

Kubic has claimed the U.S. could have removed Gaddhafi peacefully.

His claims, at the time, were highlighted by conservatives but could receive more scrutiny after Trump suggested Kubic could join his foreign policy team.

Kubic was one of three names the GOP presidential front-runner floated as new additions to his foreign policy team in an interview published this weekend by The New York Times.

His involvement with Libya could also raise questions about Trump’s criticisms of Hillary Clinton over her policies while secretary of State.

Trump’s own record on Libya is far from clear.

Trump has at times criticized the intervention in Libya, saying during a Feb. 25 Republican debate, that officials should have been more cautious before launching attacks and that Gaddafi should have stayed in power.

“We would be so much better off if Gaddafi were in charge right now. … It’s a total mess. We would’ve been better off if the politicians took a day off instead of going into war.”

At other times he suggested support for the intervention.

“Now we should go in, we should stop this guy, which would be very easy and very quick,” he said in 2011, acccording to Buzzfeed. “But we have to go in to save these lives; these people are being slaughtered like animals.” 

Trump named Kubic as a possible adviser during an interview with The New York Times. 

“He’s Navy, retired. Very good, nice, supposedly,” Trump said. 

Kubic also signed an August 2015 letter with 213 other retired military officers, calling on Congress to reject the Iran nuclear deal. 

He is currently the president of the Kubic Engineer Group. Before that, he served as president of ECC International, a construction and remediation company focused on U.S. government work, according to LinkedIn. 

He served as a White House Fellow during the Reagan administration, and received B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School — Trump’s alma mater. 

Kubic also commanded the 1st Naval Construction Division, which reopened schools in Iraq after the U.S. invasion. 

Trump also named retired Army Maj. Gen. Gary Harrell, and Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Bert Mizusawa as potential advisers. 

“We have some others that I really like a lot and we’re going to put them in,” he said. 

Harrell is a retired Delta Forces commander who took part in storied raids, including during the 1993 battle of Mogadishu. He also commanded U.S. special operations forces during the opening of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. 

Mizusawa is a major general in the Army Reserves and holds a Juris Doctor and Master of Public Policy from Harvard. He was twice selected as a MacArthur Fellow in International Security. 

Mizusawa served as a commander of the Joint Security Force in the Korean Demilitarized Zone, known as the DMZ, including during a 1984 incident where a Soviet citizen was visiting the North Korea side and rushed across the Military Demarcation Line into South Korea, prompting a 40-minute firefight between the two sides. 

According to CQ Roll Call, Mizusawa, sought the Republican nomination for the 2nd District of Virginia in 2010 and has been seen as a possible candidate for Rep. Scott Rigell’s (R-Va.) seat when he retires this year. He also served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Scott Rigell

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