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'You Bet Your Ass I've Got Regrets.' As Election Day Nears, More of Trump's Former Officials Are Speaking Out Against Him

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7 min read
fairly difficult
Never in recent history have so many senior former U.S. officials publicly attacked the commander in chief they served.
Never in recent history have so many senior former U.S. officials publicly attacked the commander in chief they served, or the decisions he's made, as the ranks lining up to say President Donald Trump put himself and his re-election ahead of the country, thereby threatening its security.

One of the latest salvos comes from Trump's second National Security Adviser, retired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. McMaster tells TIME that Trump's moves toward withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan —a 2016 campaign promise — have handed the Taliban a victory by allowing them to talk peace while still attacking the Afghan government. He adds that Trump's acting as a public apologist for Russia has sown confusion in what is an otherwise tough U.S. approach toward Moscow.

McMaster's criticism, described in greater detail in his new book Battlegrounds, the Fight to Defend the Free World, is aimed not at Trump himself, but his policies, he says. The retired general, who served as Trump's advisor from 2017 to 2018, eschews detailing what he calls the "palace intrigue" of the Trump White House that has given rise to multiple tell-all books and anonymous critiques of a pugilistic president who revels in publicly shaming allies and sweet-talking dictators.

McMaster, who says he has never voted in any election during his 34 years' Army service, says he declined to describe his interactions in the Oval Office for fear that it would further divide Americans. "I hope Trump supporters read the book, I hope Trump haters read the book, and maybe find this book as a way to come together and … restore a degree of bipartisanship, at least to our foreign policy," he says.

For months, the President's former colleagues have been coming out one by one, in a rare display of disloyalty to a sitting president, to warn that Trump does not have America's best interests at heart. Now, as Nov. 3 looms, the pace is picking up, as those officials hope that some of the punches land with American voters.…
Kimberly Dozier
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