Thursday on Washington Post Live’s “Cape Up Podcast,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) called President Donald Trump a national security threat “in many ways,” during her interview with columnist Jonathan Capehart.
Partial transcript as follows:
CAPEHART: So, before we get to police reform, we have to get to intelligence and the Russia story of paying bounties on the lives of American soldiers. You are a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. You attended a briefing regarding the allegations that Russia was involved in this. Given what you learned, is the intelligence in doubt?
HARRIS: Is the intelligence in doubt? I would say that I–during the course of my three-plus years of being on the Senate Intelligence Committee and therefore in regular receipt of classified information about the threats to our national security and hot spots around the world, that I have to come to respect–highly respect–the intelligence community for their professionalism, for the detail and the precision with which they work and the enormity of their responsibility, which is to inform us as policymakers, to inform the executive branch in a way that we can make smart decisions that are in the best interest of our nation’s security.
CAPEHART: So, okay. So given what you learned, is it credible that President Trump did not know about this intelligence, about the Russians paying Taliban bounties on the heads of American soldiers?
HARRIS: I am not in a position to share with you classified information. But I will say this. It is well-known and understood that part of the responsibility of the President of the United States is to concern himself or herself with the well-being of our service members who sacrifice and are willing to sacrifice their lives in honor and in protection of our country and our security. And it would be–it would be wonderful to have a president who actually cares about those men and women and expresses some level of concern about their well-being. But we don’t see that with Donald Trump in any meaningful way. He does it when it’s time to–when what he wants to do is have a military parade. But the reality is, you know, I’ve been to Afghanistan. I’ve been to these hot spots. And our folks need a president and a commander in chief who has their best interests as his or her first priority. And we’ve just frankly not seen that with Donald Trump.
CAPEHART: So, given what you just said and given the briefings that you’ve just attended, but especially given what you just said about President Trump, do you think the President of the United States is a national security threat?
HARRIS: In many ways. I think that he is not—he has not throughout his tenure as president prioritized what is in the best interest of our–the health and well-being of the American people on the homeland or around the world. And you can just look at this most recent threat to the health and well-being of our country, which is this pandemic. And from the very beginning, Donald Trump referred to it as a hoax. He has spent time trying to minimize the seriousness of it. He has attempted to muzzle public health experts and to deny the realities of the harm and also what we can do to mitigate the harm, such as wearing a mask and basic things that are necessary to stem the tide of this virus until we get a vaccine. You can talk about it on the issue of the climate crisis and the fact that he has been basically a science denier.And then you can look at the fact that our—again, our intelligence community has been very clear, unanimous in its finding of Russia’s interference in the election of the President of the United States in 2016. And again, he dismissed the seriousness or the significance or the veracity of that information. So, we have many examples that tell us that Donald Trump is not well-equipped, if at all equipped to be the commander in chief.
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