A former Secretary of Defense offered faint praise of Donald Trump over the weekend. Robert Gates pointed to the President’s success in not starting any wars over the last four years.
Gates served under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He’s also previously spoken critically of Vice President Joe Biden. He told Meet the Press on Sunday that Trump had had some success.
“Unlike his three predecessors, and I write about this in the book, at least he hasn’t started any new wars, and he has robustly funded the military. I supported his outreach to North Korea,” Gates told Chuck Todd.
“It hasn’t come to anything, but I thought that was a bold move and everything else had failed in the previous 25 years.”
“I thought his challenging China was about time, but there’s the other side of the coin.”
“Some of the things he says, his treatment and words about military people and military heroes like John McCain that I admire a lot that are really troublesome.”
Gates also address his previous criticism of Biden, who is now the Democratic presidential nominee. Gates had said Biden was “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue.”
“I think the important thing is the quality of his character is important,” Gates said on Sunday.
“I have a lot of policy disagreements frankly with the former vice president, but I think one of the things that people will be weighing this fall is probably the character of the two contestants.”
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media