WATCH: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates Says None of the Republicans He Worked With Would Recognize Current GOP

When Donald Trump ran for the Republican nomination in 2016, all of his opponents knew there was something wrong with him. Marco Rubio and Chris Christie got into fierce exchanges with him. Ted Cruz refused to support him at the RNC. Lindsey Graham said that he would destroy the party.

Still, once Trump won the nomination, all of those politicians fell behind him and became supporters. And the GOP has been forever changed. It is now the party of Trump and anyone who doesn’t pay fealty to him has to go.

Robert Gates served as the defense secretary under George W. Bush. But when Democrat Barack Obama was elected, he kept Gates around. During a recent interview with Face the Nation, the former defense secretary said that none of the Republicans he worked with would recognize the current iteration of the party.

Host John Dickerson asked, “If you were analyzing the political structure of the United States as a CIA analyst, and the minority party believed that [and] the majority of the voters in that party believe that the president was illegitimate, how would you assess the stability of the political organization of that country?”

Gates responded, “I would have serious concerns about the future. I worked for eight presidents, five of them were Republicans. I don’t think any of them would recognize the Republican party today. In terms of the values and the principles that the Republican Party stood for under those five presidents are hard to find these days.”

The former defense secretary is considered to be one of the great leaders of his generation. And we was widely respected on both sides of the aisle. So there words definitely hold significant weight.