After putting their names on a “Never Trump” list during the presidential campaign, scores of national security Republicans are now wondering why their names seem to be on a do-not-hire list at the White House.
“If called upon by President-elect Donald Trump, they stand ready to serve their country again,” The Washington Post reports. “But their phones aren’t ringing. Their entreaties to Trump Tower in New York have mostly gone unanswered.”
These veterans of past Republican administrations are some of the biggest names in the Republican national security world, including the first Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, who formerly directed the CIA and the NSA, and former trade ambassadors Carla Hills and Robert Zoellick. Unlike others who were silent or stayed neutral during the presidential campaign, these people spoke out publicly and decidedly against Trump.
“We commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office,” read one particularly harsh letter signed by 122 of these GOP national security leaders. They called his trade policies “a recipe for disaster” and said his view of American influence and power on the world stage is “wildly inconsistent” and “unmoored in principle.” He has “utter contempt” for Mexico, the letter said, and “endangers” the safety of Muslims. He is “fundamentally dishonest,” they added.
But now that Trump is hiring, some of them are surprised and concerned to see their friends flirt with the incoming administration regarding potential jobs, while they remain empty handed, stuck in what WaPo calls a “state of indefinite limbo.”
Trump’s political advisers have put them on a blacklist, some of them told WaPo, maybe even an “enemies” list. “It’s hostile,” one person told WaPo on condition of anonymity. “It’s not just that we’re frozen out. … I was told they said there was an enemies list.”
Watch: California Republicans: Never Trump