Elliott Abrams: Trump Hurting Himself By Holding Grudges
President Donald Trump is hurting himself and giving up on great national security talent by holding grudges over past criticism of his candidacy, Elliott Abrams, a former candidate for Deputy Secretary of State under Trump, said on Monday.
“I think it’s really destructive for the President to go back to the primary season and say, ‘People who’ve said tough things about me can’t come into the administration.’ He is hurting himself,” Abrams said in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett.
Abrams, who served as deputy national security adviser for Global Democracy Strategy under George W. Bush, was reportedly picked by Secretary of State to be his Deputy. But after a meeting with Trump at the White House on Tuesday, the President abruptly overruled Tillerson and denied Abrams the position.
Abrams said he had a productive meeting with Trump and that his past criticism of the President during the Republican presidential primary never came up during the hourlong conversation. “I was ready to address it.” But after it took place, Trump learned of a column “When You Can’t Stand Your Candidate” written by Abrams in May 2016 for The Weekly Standard.
The former diplomat said his guess is that WH Chief Strategist Steve Bannon “riled up” the President against his appointment. “The only person on the White House staff I know was opposed to me being hired was Steve Bannon,” Abrams told CNN.