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Trump fires back at ex-Sec. of Defense Gates: ‘He knows nothing about me’

·Reporter
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Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Bob Gates found himself on the receiving end of Donald Trump’s barbed tongue Friday.

Gates had publicly criticized the presumptive Republican presidential candidate’s foreign policy proposals and temperament several times the day before. He said some of Trump’s statements — such as making Japan and South Korea pay more for U.S. military resources — could spur others to take steps that would undermine cooperation with our allies.

Mika Brzezinski, co-host of “Morning Joe,” asked Trump to respond to this criticism during a Friday interview.

“The comments are wrong. He knows nothing about me. He knows nothing about what I said,” Trump replied. “I’m not a big fan of his, by the way. … Look at where our country is with years of him being involved. We are a mess.”

He continued: “I know he has a great reputation and all of that. All of these guys have a great reputation. They’ve been doing this stuff for 15 years. Look where our country is, OK?”

Trump also defended his argument that the U.S. cannot afford to protect other nations without being reimbursed.

“And Bob Gates, who I don’t know at all, but Bob Gates has no idea. See, they are misrepresenting and he’s misrepresenting,” he jabbed.

Brzezinski, who described Gates as “one of the greatest foreign policy minds in history,” said part of Gates’ concern is over the way Trump might express himself as commander in chief. She cited his recent tweet about the EgyptAir flight that disappeared Thursday over the Mediterranean Sea as an example that he may be “too trigger-happy with his words.”

Trump quickly blamed terrorism, though authorities were still investigating.

The day before on “Morning Joe,” Gates took issue with Trump’s tweet. He said that people with responsibility learn quickly that early reports of a situation often turn out to be inaccurate. He said many politicians don’t have the discipline hold off until all the facts come in.

“I think it prejudges the outcome, and let’s just suppose that it turns out not to be a terrorist event,” Gates said. “Then what do you say having made these allegations and so on? So it’s always better to wait until you actually know what the facts are before you open up. I realize that’s a very unusual thing in American politics, but it ought to be tried occasionally.”

Brzezinski asked Trump if there was any validity to the concern that tweets like his one about the EgyptAir flight might generate panic and anger.

“I’m thinking of the future,” Trump replied. “We cannot continue to let things like this happen. We are being taken advantage of by radical Islamic terrorists, and this world is changing.”

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