Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign announced Monday morning it has brought on Ambassador R. James Woolsey to serve as a senior adviser to the candidate.
It is perhaps the most high-profile "crossing of party lines" to have occurred in the 2016 presidential election. Woolsey, a former Undersecretary of the Navy under President Jimmy Carter, served as Director of Central Intelligence under President Bill Clinton.
"I have been a 'Scoop Jackson-Joe Lieberman Democrat' all of my adult life," he admitted. "But I am pleased to be asked to participate with others I respect in advising GOP candidate Donald J. Trump on the urgent need to reinvest in and modernize our military in order to confront the challenges of the 21st century."
Woolsey has served Republican presidents in the past. Under President Ronald Reagan, the former anti-Vietnam War activist served as a delegate to the treaty negotiations that led to the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks and the Nuclear and Space Arms Talks. He was ambassador to the Negotiation on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe under President George H.W. Bush.
"Mr. Trump's commitment to reversing the harmful defense budget cuts signed into law by the current administration, while acknowledging the need for debt reduction, is an essential step toward reinstating the United States' primacy in the conventional and digital battlespace," he said.
Woolsey was sometimes referred to as the "token" appointment to the Bill Clinton administration. Having courted neoconservatives during the 1992 presidential campaign, the appointment was meant to be a tip-of-the-cap for their electoral support. During his tenure, however, Woolsey never had a private one-on-one conversation with the president.
He didn't hold back his criticism of the former first lady:
"Since Secretary Clinton left the State Department, we have learned that she demonstrated a complete lack of understanding and an inability to lead the agency she headed in such a way as to maintain its mission and security. Based on the emails thus far released, we know that Secretary Clinton also lacks the ability to lead her senior managers while complying with and maintaining the basic protocols designed to protect our government's sensitive and classified information.
"Mr. Trump understands the magnitude of the threats we face and is holding his cards close to the vest. Bravo Zulu, Mr. Trump."
"Bravo Zulu" is a U.S. Navy slang term for "good job."
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