Former Nebraska United States Sen. Chuck Hagel is critical of President Trump’s decision not to visit an American World War I cemetery in France as well as the president’s approach to foreign policy and securing the southern border.
Hagel, a Republican who served as Defense Secretary under President Obama, tells CNN Trump let the country down.
“World War I was a horrific, terrible war that affected really, everybody and certainly affected us,” Hagel tells Brianna Keilar on CNN Right Now. “And not to make a little bit of an effort to get to a very important ceremony was wrong and I’m disappointed and I’m sorry that he didn’t do it.”
Trump traveled to Paris to commemorate the centennial of the end of World War I. Trump did not make a ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France. The president blamed the Secret Service which deemed it unsafe to fly the Marine One helicopter to the cemetery.
Hagel also objects to Trump’s “America First” policy.
“It’s very dangerous when you see a world that is starting to unravel in many ways politically focusing on nationalism. Our way; to hell with the rest of the world,” according to Hagel. “We can’t live in that kind of a world. This is a world of 7 billion people. We’re interconnected. It’s a global community, underpinned by a global economy. Security, stability in every corner of the world is important for all of us.”
President Trump has ordered thousands of troops to the southern border as a huge caravan of migrants from Central America heads toward the border.
Hagel says it wasn’t coincidence that Trump announced troops would head to the border while campaigning prior to the mid-term elections.
“I think it’s obvious and it’s very clear that it was a political stunt that he pulled, abusing our troops, having our troops down there still and him continuing to say, ‘I may send more,’ using our troops as political pawns for his political interests; it’s just wrong,” Hagel says.
Hagel says America cannot afford to isolate itself and needs to find common ground with other countries.
Alisa Nelson, The Missourinet, contributed to this article.