- Associated Press - Thursday, March 2, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The outgoing chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party has taken on a senior role at a group that is challenging the Trump administration’s push to boost military spending over the funding of diplomatic efforts.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition announced Thursday that Matt Moore started this week as its director of strategic initiatives. In that role, the group said that Moore will be responsible for outreach to the Trump administration and the faith community.

The Washington-based coalition recently coordinated a letter released signed by 121 retired military leaders opposing an administration proposal to cut $54 billion in foreign spending in favor of boosting the military. In a news release, Moore said shoring up diplomatic efforts is even more crucial given the threats faced around the globe.

“America can’t retreat to its shores when the world is in crisis,” Moore said in the release. “I couldn’t be more honored to join the USGLC, to get into this debate, and to underscore the broad conservative support around the country for U.S. global leadership.”

The coalition describes itself as a network of businesses, non-governmental organizations, experts in national security and foreign policy and business, faith-based and other leaders who believe development and diplomatic tools must be used alongside defense.

In a release, Coalition chief executive Liz Schrayer said Moore’s experience having traveled to Africa to see “firsthand how aid programs are not only effective but also keep us safe here at home.”

Starting with the state GOP as its executive director in 2011, Moore was elected chair two years later and was re-elected in 2015 with 83 percent of votes cast. He announced last month he would not seek a third term as chairman, saying he felt it was time to hand over the position to someone new, given the changes in state and national politics.

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Kinnard can be reached at https://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP . Read more of her work at https://bigstory.ap.org/content/meg-kinnard/ .


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