Donald Trump Calls Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates a ‘Clown’

September 18, 2016, 6:53 PM UTC
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the JetCenters of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colorado on September 17, 2016. / AFP / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo by Mandel Ngan—AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump is firing back at yet another public figure.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Friday in which he criticized both major party nominees for their foreign policy, writing that neither “has said or done much to give anyone confidence.” He called out Clinton for her poor record in Libya, and her vague stances overall when it comes to national security, and described Trump as being “in a league of his own.”

Trump responded the following day on Twitter.

While Clinton didn’t address the op-ed itself, she did criticize Trump’s initial reaction to it.

Trump then talked about the op-ed during a rally in Colorado on Saturday:

We had a clown today, an absolute clown, Robert Gates. He’s supposed to be an expert. He’s been there forever… and he goes out and he says negative things about me. I never met him. I never talked to him. Believe me, I am so much better at what he’s doing than he is.

In the op-ed Gates points to Trump’s “record of insults to servicemen, their families and the military.” In the past the candidate has demeaned John McCain’s status as a war hero saying, “I like people who weren’t captured.” Following the Democratic National Convention, he slighted a Gold Star family by making incorrect assumptions about their religion. He has also claimed to “know more about ISIS than the generals do,” and he has advocated fighting the terror organization by targeting their families.

While Gates says that Clinton still has time to develop her policies and establish trustworthiness, he believes that Trump is “beyond repair.”

Neither of the candidates’ campaigns could immediately be reached for comment.

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