In an interview with the Daily Mail on Wednesday, Former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld said that he would be voting for Donald Trump in the upcoming election. This declaration makes him one of the few, and certainly one of the highest ranking 9/11-era Republicans to lend his support to the presumptive nominee.
Often considered one of the chief architects of the disastrous war in Iraq, Rumsfeld told the Daily Mail that he agrees with Trump’s policies on refugees, immigration, and rethinking our alliance with NATO.
Rumsfeld was eager to discuss Trump’s rise to the forefront of the GOP candidates, and although he admits he has never met Trump, he agrees with Trump that accepting refugees from Syria would allow for terrorist infiltration.
Rumsfeld told the Daily Mail:
‘He’s absolutely right. Anyone who thinks that the radical islamists are not going to try to utilize every venue they can find to infiltrate in the united states and in western european countries to achieve their goals — these people just don’t get it.
‘They’ve [isis] announced what they’re going to do.’
But, it’s difficult to know if Rumsfeld’s position on the Syrian refugee crisis truly aligns with Donald Trump’s. Trump has flip-flopped on the issue and seems to have no moral qualms about refusing sanctuary to families fleeing the war-torn region.
In somewhat stark comparison, former Secretary Rumsfeld, now 86, told the Daily Mail:
‘this refugee problem is the most heartbreaking thing in the world.’
‘the way he [trump] said it got him the republican nomination for president. the way I said it makes people’s eyes glaze over.
‘the only real difference is one is striking a nerve.’
Regarding NATO, Rumsfeld said he was in agreement with Trump that it needs reorganization. Once America’s NATO ambassador, Rumsfeld said:
‘It was fashioned during the truman administration, and they do need to be updated for the 21st century and the information age.’
Rumsfeld insisted that Donald Trump’s position on NATO has been misrepresented in the press:
‘People have played very fast and loose. what he actually said was different than the characterizations that followed.’
Again, it’s difficult to be sure how closely the senior Republican statesman has been following Trump’s campaign. On April 2, the New York Times quoted Donald Trump during a stop in Racine, Wisconsin:
‘that means we are protecting them, giving them military protection and other things, and they’re ripping off the united states … either they have to pay up for past deficiencies or they have to get out.
‘and if it breaks up nato, it breaks up nato.’
Rumsfeld told the Daily Mail that Trump’s statement was:
‘not far from what I wrote … to president bush 13 or 14 years ago.’
The former Secretary of Defense also said that he and Donald Trump hold similar views on immigration, although he admits that he perceives the issue from a cultural angle:
‘Most immigrants don’t want to impose a different system on us … countries ought to be able to maintain their values.’
At this time, former President George W. Bush has given no indication that he will be supporting Trump, and has said that he isn’t planning to attend the Republican National Convention this July in Cleveland, Ohio.
Former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who worked with both Secretary Rumsfeld and President Bush during the initial years of the Iraq War, has been openly dismissive of Trump, mainly due to the candidate’s immigration policy.
Rumsfeld said that we was unsurprised by Powell’s position:
‘He supported Obama, colin did! that’s nothing new.’
‘and besides, i’m a republican, and there’s not any doubt in my mind how i’ll vote. ‘
Rumsfeld spoke with the Daily Mail as part of a promotional tour for the release of his new game app for Android. The iPhone version of Rumsfeld’s “Churchill Solitaire” has been very popular and has been downloaded over 650,000 times.
Rumsfeld admitted that technology wasn’t his strong suite:
‘I didn’t even know what an app was!
‘don’t tell anyone.’
Featured image via Getty Images