The Donald Trump campaign announced on Monday that James Woolsey, former CIA Director under President Bill Clinton, is formally advising the Republican presidential candidate on national security matters.
“I have been a ‘Scoop Jackson,’ ‘Joe Lieberman,’ Democrat all of my adult life, but I am pleased to be asked to participate with others I respect in advising GOP candidate Donald J. Trump on the urgent need to reinvest in and modernize our military in order to confront the challenges of the 21st century,” Woolsey said in a statement. “Mr. Trump understands the magnitude of the threats we face and is holding his cards close to the vest. Bravo Zulu, Mr. Trump.”
Woolsey headed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the years 1993-1995. He currently chairs the Strategic Advisory Group of the Washington, D.C. private equity fund, Paladin Capital Group.
The announcement comes after former CIA Director Michael Morrell and former Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Mike Vickers, both serving under President George W. Bush, penned an open letter on Saturday urging the Republican presidential nominee to reconsider his support for Russian president Vladimir Putin or else be disqualified to serve as president. “Mr. Trump, with all due respect to you as the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, you cannot credibly serve as commander in chief if you embrace Russian President Vladimir Putin,” the letter reads. “The Russian leader has repeatedly shown himself to be an adversary of the United States … He is the last foreign leader you should be praising.”
Woolsey indicated that he has offered his advice to Trump in a conversation with Jewish Insider last month. “I have not yet taken a formal position in the election and endorsed anybody, but I have let it be known that I would advise – in the sense of substantive advice – about national security matters to the Trump campaign,” Woolsey said at an event hosted by JP Updates and the Friedlander Group in Brooklyn. “I would not do so to Hillary’s campaign.”
But, Woolsey said, he is not doing it “with enthusiasm,” since he is not pleased with either candidate in this election. “But I am of the view that there’s at least a chance of something positive developing. I see no chance of something positive developing in our future if Hillary Clinton is elected.”
In the statement released by the Trump campaign, Woolsey claimed, “Based on the emails thus far released we know that Secretary Clinton also lacks the ability to lead her senior managers while complying with and maintaining the basic protocols designed to protect our government’s sensitive and classified information.”