While there is certainly no top level U.S. official from recent administrations who can claim with a straight face to have clean hands when it comes to the manner in which the world's wealthiest and most militarized country operates in the world, more than 300 former national security professionals—all of whom served under former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, or both—publicly called out President Donald Trump on Friday for what they say is an "unconscionable abuse of power' and flagrant violation of his oath of office.
"President Trump appears to have leveraged the authority and resources of the highest office in the land to invite additional foreign interference into our democratic processes," the former officials wrote in a joint public statement (pdf), referencing the scandal that has embroiled the White House after a whistleblower filed an official complaint alleging misconduct by Trump during a July phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and a subsequent effort by the administration to cover it up.
If the allegations put forth are accurate, the officials stated, the president's action "would constitute an unconscionable abuse of power."
Efforts to use his executive authority to have a foreign government target his top domestic political rival, Democratic 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden, the former officials continued, "would represent an effort to subordinate America's national interests—and those of our closest allies and partners—to the President's personal political interest. Having worked across administrations of both parties to uphold and advance those national interests, we consider the President's actions to be a profound national security concern."
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Never Miss a Beat.
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
Based on the contents of whistleblower complaint, the signers of the letter said there is much about what has come out thus far which is deeply concerning:
National Security Council officials from prior administrations say a top-secret system reserved for highly sensitive government secrets should not be used for transcripts of foreign leader calls like President Trump's Ukraine call. https://t.co/azQrl9OPhj
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) September 27, 2019
While the letter notes that many of the signatories have thus far remained silent on Trump's performance as president—and many consider themselves non-partisan in their allegience to national security concerns—the latest revelations demanded a response.
"If we fail to speak up—and act—now our foreign policy and national security will officially be on offer to those who can most effectively fulfill the President's personal prerogatives," they said.