PHILADELPHIA — A trio of former military leaders took to the stage at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday to rail against the “dangerous” Donald Trump and to promote Hillary Clinton’s readiness to lead American armed services.
Retired Rear Admiral John Hutson said Trump’s call for Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails is “not law and order,” he said, “that’s criminal intent.”
Hutson said the view of Trump as unacceptable as a global leader is shared by more than 120 Republican national security leaders, who recently wrote to warn “that Donald Trump would, in their words, make America less safe.”
Finally, Hutson took aim at Trump’s earlier criticism of U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for becoming a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
“I served in the same Navy as John McCain,” Hutson said. “I used to vote in the same party as John McCain. Donald, you’re not fit to polish John McCain’s boots.”
America needs to elect Clinton, he said to work with America’s allies and “to fight ISIS,” Hutson said. “She has the experience and the spine to be a superb commander in chief.”
Kristin Kavanaugh, a former Marine Corps captain and Iraq war veteran, said Trump is contrary to everything the U.S. military stands for.
“He’d force the military to commit crimes,” she said. “He’s defying the values that every servicemember is taught on day one. He’s defying the values we risk our lives to defend.”
Finally, former CIA director and Defense secretary Leon Panetta said after working for nine presidents of both parties he has an easy choice in November.
“There is only one candidate for president who has the experience, the temperament and judgement to be commander-in-chief and that’s Hillary Clinton,” Panetta said
From her decisiveness in urging President Obama to go after Osama bin Laden to her determination to “defeat those who threaten us today,” Panetta said. “ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab: Terrorists who pervert the meaning of Islam to kill innocent people going about their daily lives.”
Trump, Panetta said, “says he gets his foreign policy experience from watching TV and running the Miss Universe Pageant. If only it were funny.”
Today, Panetta said, “Trump once again took Russia’s side. He asked the Russians to engage in American politics. Think about that for a moment. Donald Trump is asking one of our adversaries to engage in hacking or intelligence efforts against the United States to affect our election.”
“In an unstable world, we cannot afford unstable leadership,” he said.
Update 10:00 p.m. Trump’s campaign has responded: