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Joe Biden endorsed by nearly 500 former top military and national security officials
Since the report from the Atlantic revealing Donald Trump’s disparaging comments regarding fallen military officials, the relationship between Trump and the military has since gone under strain. As the weeks narrow down until the November elections, hundreds of former top military officials and former national security officials have publicly announced their support for former vice president Joe Biden.
USA Today reports that 489 former military officials and national security officials from both parties have released a statement announcing their endorsement for Joe Biden this week. These former officials have now banded together under the bipartisan group National Security Leaders for Biden. The group includes former Defense secretaries from the Obama-Biden administration Chuck Hagel, Ash Carter, and Lou Panetta, as well as former Navy Secretary and NASA chief Sean O’Keefe from the George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations. Former Obama administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice is also included, as well as former secretary of state John Kerry and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
Retired Air Force General Paul Selva who also served in the Trump administration as a vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until 2019 is among the retired military officials included in the statement. The statement also criticizes Trump without mentioning him directly.
“Joe Biden has the character, principles, wisdom, and leadership necessary to address a world on fire. That is why Joe Biden must be the next President of the United States; why we vigorously support his election; and why we urge our fellow citizens to do the same,” wrote the group.
As mandated, both candidates have already assembled their respective transition teams in case Biden wins in November for a seamless hand over of power. However, Biden’s transition team faces many threats, from the former vice president’s possible defeat, Trump’s refusal to leave office should Biden win the presidency, and the pandemic, which has forced them to operate differently compared to previous transition teams.
“We are preparing for this transition amid a backdrop of a global health crisis and a struggling economy. This is a transition like no other, and the team being assembled will help Joe Biden meet the urgent challenges facing our country on day one,” said former Delaware Senator Ted Kaufman, who is also a co-chair of the Biden transition team, in a statement.