Former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on Monday criticized presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE for taking a “dangerous” and “irresponsible” approach to foreign policy.
“I worry that it’s sending a signal to countries abroad that a candidate for president of the United States really doesn’t know what he really wants to do when it comes to protecting our national security,” Panetta said in an interview on CNN.
“He takes one position one day and another position the next day,” Panetta added. “This is a dangerous approach for someone who wants to be commander in chief of the United States.”
The comments echo scathing criticism unleashed by Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Armageddon elections to come Poll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' MORE, who served alongside Panetta as secretary of State. In a speech last week, Clinton attempted to pivot toward a general election match-up against Trump by deriding his lack of foreign policy chops and calling him “temperamentally unfit” to serve as commander in chief.
Trump’s policy suggestions, some of which have been criticized by fellow Republicans, are “dangerously incoherent,” Clinton warned last Thursday.
On CNN, Panetta zeroed in on Trump’s suggestion that Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia should be able to obtain nuclear weapons.
“It’s very dangerous for a presidential candidate to shoot from the hip when it comes to dealing with issues in the world, and in particular to dealing with nuclear issues,” said Panetta, who has endorsed Clinton. “That attitude is an embarrassment. It’s also irresponsible.”
Trump has tried to walk back his suggestion about Japan, in particular, claiming in recent days that he “never said” that the Asian nation should acquire nuclear weapons. While Trump never explicitly called for Japan and other nations to achieve nuclear capabilities, he has repeatedly suggested openness to the idea.