Robert Gates: I Am ‘in Agreement’ With Trump’s ‘Disruptive Approach’

On this week’s broadcast of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” former secretary of defense Robert Gates said he was “in agreement” with President Donald Trump’s “disruptive approach.”

Partial transcript as follows:

DICKERSON:  What’s your sense overall of President Trump as an unpredictable leader?

GATES: Broadly philosophically, I’m in agreement with his disruptive approach. So in government, I’m a strong believer in the need for reform of government agencies and departments. They have gotten fat and sloppy and they’re not user-friendly. They are inefficient. They cost too much. I also think on the foreign policy side that there is a need for disruption. We’ve had three administrations follow a pretty consistent policy toward North Korea, and it really hasn’t gotten us anywhere. So the notion of disrupting and putting the Chinese on notice that it’s no longer business as usual for the United States I think is a good thing. Now the question is, obviously, in the implementation of disruption. On the foreign policy side, there’s the risk of being too spontaneous and too disruptive where you end up doing more harm than damage. Figuring out that balance is where having strong people around you matters.

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