The Residential Library

The sometimes demented, frequently irreverent, and occasionally stupid musings of Ron Hargrove


We are former national security officials who served during the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and/or Donald Trump, or as Republican Members of Congress. We are profoundly concerned about the course of our nation under the leadership of Donald Trump. Through his actions and his rhetoric, Trump has demonstrated that he lacks the character and competence to lead this nation and has engaged in corrupt behavior that renders him unfit to serve as President.

For the following reasons, we have concluded that Donald Trump has failed our country and that Vice President Joe Biden should be elected the next President of the United States.

1. Donald Trump has gravely damaged America’s role as a world leader. Trump has disgraced America’s global reputation and undermined our nation’s moral and diplomatic influence. He has called NATO “obsolete,” branded Europe a “foe,” mocked the leaders of America’s closest friends, and threatened to terminate longstanding US alliances. Other global leaders, friends and foes alike, view him as unreliable, unstable, and unworthy of respect.

2. Donald Trump has shown that he is unfit to lead during a national crisis. Instead of rallying the American people and the world to confront the coronavirus, Trump has spent the past half year spreading misinformation, undermining public health experts, attacking state and local officials, and wallowing in self-pity. He has demonstrated far greater concern about the fate of his reelection than the health of the American people.

3. Donald Trump has solicited foreign influence and undermined confidence in our presidential elections. Trump publicly asked Russian president Vladimir Putin to assist his 2016 campaign, called on Chinese president Xi Jinping to “start an investigation” into his current political opponent, and pressured the president of Ukraine to act against his opponent. Citing exaggerated claims of voter fraud, he has challenged the integrity of this year’s election, even suggesting that it be postponed.

4. Donald Trump has aligned himself with dictators and failed to stand up for American values. Trump has regularly praised the actions of dictators and human rights abusers. He proclaimed his “love” and “great respect” for North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un, endorsed “brilliant leader” Xi Jinping’s move to serve as China’s president for life, repeatedly sided with Vladimir Putin against our own intelligence community, and pronounced himself a “big fan” of Turkish president Recep Erdogan despite his crackdown on democracy.

5. Donald Trump has disparaged our armed forces, intelligence agencies, and diplomats. Trump has attacked Gold Star families, scoffed at American prisoners of war, interfered in the military justice system, and embroiled our military in domestic politics. He has ridiculed US intelligence agencies and falsely branded our nation’s diplomats as the “deep state.”

6. Donald Trump has undermined the rule of law. Trump has compromised the independence of the Department of Justice, repeatedly attacked federal judges, and punished government officials who have sought to uphold the law. To protect himself from accountability, he has fired officials who launched investigations or testified against him, threatened whistleblowers, dangled pardons as incentives to stay silent, and blocked prison time for a political crony convicted of lying on his behalf. He has impugned journalists investigating his misconduct and has repeatedly denounced the press as the “enemy of the people.”

7. Donald Trump has dishonored the office of the presidency. Trump engages in childish name-calling, mocks the disabled, belittles women, persistently lies, peddles baseless conspiracy theories, and continually embarrasses Americans in the eyes of the world.

8. Donald Trump has divided our nation and preached a dark and pessimistic view of America. Trump consistently seeks to incite political, racial, and ethnic divisions, weakening our nation and delighting our adversaries. In contrast to Reagan’s vision of America as a “shining city on a hill,” Trump speaks of “American carnage,” pits Americans against each other, and stokes fears that “angry mobs” and “anarchists” are destroying our country.

9. Donald Trump has attacked and vilified immigrants to our country. Trump routinely denigrates immigrants and inflames prejudices as he seeks support for his reelection. Despite America’s legacy as a nation of immigrants, he has demonized Americans who come from other countries, even telling members of Congress whose families immigrated to the United States to “go back” to the “crime-infested places” from which they came.

10. Donald Trump has imperiled America’s security by mismanaging his national security team. Trump has dismissed or replaced — often by tweet — the secretaries of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, the Attorney General, the Directors of National Intelligence and the FBI, three National Security Advisors, and other senior officials in critical national security positions, many because they refused to cover for his misdeeds or demonstrate sufficient personal loyalty.

While we – like all Americans – had hoped that Donald Trump would govern wisely, he has disappointed millions of voters who put their faith in him and has demonstrated that he is dangerously unfit to serve another term.

In contrast, we believe Joe Biden has the character, experience, and temperament to lead this nation. We believe he will restore the dignity of the presidency, bring Americans together, reassert America’s role as a global leader, and inspire our nation to live up to its ideals.

While some of us hold policy positions that differ from those of Joe Biden and his party, the time to debate those policy differences will come later. For now, it is imperative that we stop Trump’s assault on our nation’s values and institutions and reinstate the moral foundations of our democracy.

To that end, we are firmly convinced that it is in the best interest of our nation that Vice President Joe Biden be elected as the next President of the United States, and we will vote for him.

Adm. Steve Abbot
Fmr Dep Homeland Security Advisor

Mary Catherine Andrews
Fmr Special Asst to the President

Richard Armitage
Fmr Deputy Secretary of State

Christopher Barton
Fmr Director, NSC Staff

John Bellinger
Fmr Legal Adviser, Dept of State

Adm. Kenneth Bernard
Fmr Special Asst to the President

Amb. Robert Blackwill
Fmr Deputy National Security Advisor

Linton Brooks
Fmr Under Secretary of Energy

Kara Bue
Fmr Dep Asst Secretary of State

Amb. Richard Burt
Fmr US Ambassador to Germany

Victor Cha
Fmr Director, NSC Staff

Thomas Christensen
Fmr Dep Asst Secretary of State

Eliot Cohen
Fmr Counselor of the Dept of State

Joseph Collins
Fmr Dep Asst Secretary of Defense

Heather Conley
Fmr Dep Asst Secretary of State

Chester Crocker
Fmr Asst Secretary of State

Patrick Cronin
Fmr Asst Administrator, USAID

Amb. Sada Cumber
Fmr US Special Envoy to the OIC

Mike Donley
Fmr Secretary of the Air Force

Raymond DuBois
Fmr Acting Under Secretary of the Army

Amb. Eric Edelman
Fmr Under Secretary of Defense

Gary Edson
Fmr Deputy National Security Advisor

Richard Falkenrath
Fmr Dep Asst to the President

Aaron Friedberg
Fmr Dep Asst to the Vice President

Janice Gardner
Fmr Asst Secretary of the Treasury

Amb. James Glassman
Fmr Under Secretary of State

David Gordon
Fmr Director, State Dept, Policy Planning

Colleen Graffy
Fmr Dep Asst Secretary of State

Michael Green
Fmr Senior Director, NSC Staff

Sen. Chuck Hagel
Fmr Secretary of Defense and US Senator

Gen. Michael Hayden
Fmr Director of the CIA and the NSA

Amb. Carla Hills
Fmr US Trade Representative

Ash Jain
Fmr Member, State Dept Policy Planning

James Kelly
Fmr Asst Secretary of State

Rep. Jim Kolbe
Fmr Member of Congress

David Kramer
Fmr Asst Secretary of State

Stephen Krasner
Fmr Director, State Dept Policy Planning

Ken Krieg
Fmr Under Secretary of Defense

Amb. Frank Lavin
Fmr Under Secretary of Commerce

Rep. Jim Leach
Fmr Member of Congress

Bruce Lemkin
Fmr Dep Under Secretary of the Air Force

Michael Leiter
Fmr Director, National Counterterrorism Ctr

Peter Lichtenbaum
Fmr Asst Secretary of Commerce

James Loy
Fmr Dep Secretary of Homeland Security

Peter Madigan
Fmr Dep Asst Secretary State

Bryan McGrath
Former US Navy Officer

David Merkel
Fmr Dep Asst Secretary of State

John Mitnick
Fmr General Counsel, Department of Homeland Security

Holly Morrow
Fmr Director, NSC Staff

Amb. John Negroponte
Fmr Director of National Intelligence, and Fmr Deputy Secretary of State

Elizabeth Neumann
Fmr Asst Secretary of Homeland Security

Sean O’Keefe
Fmr Secretary of the Navy and NASA Administrator

Daniel Price
Fmr Dep National Security Advisor

Paul Rosenzweig
Fmr Dep Asst Secretary of Homeland Security

Nicholas Rostow
Fmr NSC Legal Adviser

Kori Schake
Fmr Prin Dep Director, State Dept Policy Planning

Wayne Schroeder
Fmr Dep Under Secretary of Defense

Robert Shanks
Fmr Dep Asst Attorney General

Rep. Christopher Shays
Fmr Member of Congress

John Simon
Fmr Senior Director, NSC Staff

Stephen Slick
Fmr Senior Director, NSC Staff

Amb. William Taft
Fmr Deputy Secretary of Defense

Shirin Tahir-Kheli
Fmr Special Asst to the President

Miles Taylor
Fmr Chief of Staff, Dept of Homeland Security

William Tobey
Fmr Dep Administrator, Nat Nuclear Security Admin

Amb. Robert Tuttle
Fmr US Ambassador to the United Kingdom

John Veroneau
Fmr Dep US Trade Representative

Michael Vickers
Fmr Under Secretary of Defense

Ken Wainstein
Fmr Homeland Security Advisor

Sen. John Warner
Fmr US Senator

Matthew Waxman
Fmr Prin Dep Director, State Dept Policy Planning

William Webster
Fmr Director of the CIA and FBI

Dov Zakheim
Fmr Under Secretary of Defense

Philip Zelikow
Fmr Counselor of the Dept of State

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