Donald Trump began the 2016 campaign with few Republican allies, and by the end, he had consolidated support from the vast majority of his party. But he never fully won over the GOP’s foreign policy establishment.
And this week, these national security-focused Republicans say, proves they were right to oppose the inexperienced, bombastic candidate-turned-commander in chief.
“Donald Trump is out of his depth,” said Gabriel Schoenfeld, a former senior adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who has written extensively about national security. “He plainly does not know what he does not know and is stumbling now in ways that are extremely consequential. A president who endangers national security will inevitably endanger his own tenure in office.”
Reports that the president revealed highly classified information from a U.S. ally to Russian officials has shocked and alarmed congressional Republicans, outraged Democrats and vindicated the foreign policy-focused Republicans who never trusted Trump in the first place and are deeply troubled by the latest development.
Peter Feaver, who was a National Security Council special adviser under President George W. Bush and a Trump critic during the campaign, said that GOP reservations about the then-candidate were twofold. First, there were worries about his lack of knowledge and experience, and second, fears about his temperament.
“This episode,” Feaver said, “makes vivid all of those concerns.”