A former deputy director and acting director of the CIA has broken his longstanding refusal to choose a political side by endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for president as well as labeling GOP nominee Donald Trump as a danger to national security.
On Aug. 5, former CIA director Michael J. Morell announced that he was endorsing Clinton in an op-ed for The New York Times, reports Politico. He noted that he was not registered as a Democrat or a Republican and had voted for presidents from both parties previously.
During his career at the CIA, Morell has served under an equal three Democratic presidents and three Republican presidents. He was the deputy director and twice the acting director of the agency from 2010 to 2013.
“As a government official, I have always been silent about my preference for president,” Morell wrote. “No longer. On Nov. 8, I will vote for Hillary Clinton.”
The former CIA director stated that he had made his decision based on Clinton’s experience, his belief that she will defend U.S. security, and his view that Trump is a dangerous candidate.
Having worked with Clinton while she served as Secretary of State, Morell described her as “prepared, detail-oriented, thoughtful, inquisitive and willing to change her mind if presented with a compelling argument.”
Morell noted that Clinton had been an early advocate for the 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden and had urged for the Obama administration to intervene sooner in the Syrian civil war, suggesting that the former CIA director believes that Clinton would have handled the crisis better than President Barack Obama.
“In sharp contrast to Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump has no experience on national security,” Morell continued, blasting the business mogul for his “obvious need for self-aggrandizement, his overreaction to perceived slights, his tendency to make decisions based on intuition, his refusal to change his views based on new information, his routine carelessness with the facts, his unwillingness to listen to others and his lack of respect for the rule of law.”
The former CIA director was especially harsh against Trump for his stance toward Russia. Morell stated that he believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was already manipulating the GOP nominee through flattery.
Morell slammed Trump for being open to supporting the Russian annexation of Crime, signaling that he would not support NATO allies in the face of Russian expansion, and for directly inviting Russian spies to find and leak missing emails from Clinton’s private server.
“In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation,” Morell wrote.