- The Washington Times - Monday, August 8, 2016

Donald Trump thanked a group of Republican national security officials Monday for coming out against his candidacy, saying it is good for voters to now know who is to blame for “making the world such a dangerous place.”

The statement from Mr. Trump came after 50 national security officials that served under GOP presidents dating back to President Richard Nixon said in a letter Monday they could not support Mr. Trump and warned his lack of foreign policy credentials would “put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”

Mr. Trump countered in a statement of his own, saying the signatories “are nothing more than the failed Washington elite looking to hold onto their power, and it’s time they are held accountable for their actions.”

“These insiders — along with Hillary Clinton — are the owners of the disastrous decisions to invade Iraq, allow Americans to die in Benghazi, and they are the ones who allowed the rise of ISIS,” he said. “Yet despite these failures, they think they are entitled to use their favor trading to land taxpayer-funded government contracts and speaking fees.”

The signatories of the anti-Trump letter included former Secretaries of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff as well as former CIA Director Michael Hayden, and former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte.

“We understand that many Americans are profoundly frustrated with the federal government and its inability to solve pressing domestic and international problems,” the letter said. “We also know that many have doubts about Hillary Clinton, as do many of us. But Donald Trump is not the answer to America’s daunting challenges and to this crucial election. We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he would be the most reckless President in American history.”

SEE ALSO: GOP foreign policy experts call Trump unfit to lead

Mr. Trump brushed off the letter.

“It’s time we put our foot down and declare that their gravy train is over: no longer will Crooked Hillary Clinton and the other disasters in Washington get rich at our expense,” he said.

“I offer a better vision for our country and our foreign policy — one that is not run by a ruling family dynasty,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s an America first vision that stands up to foreign dictators instead of taking money from them, seeks peace over war, rebuilds our military, and makes other countries pay their fair share for their protection.”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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