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Stephanopoulos Scolds Ex-Adviser to Attack Trump: ‘Don’t You Have a Duty to Speak Out’ Before Election?



Good Morning America co-anchor George Stephanopoulos grew increasingly frustrated Monday morning by his guest, a former national security adviser to President Trump, refusing to take the bait and bash the president. At one point, the ABC anchor even lectured it was his guest’s “duty to speak out” and warn Americans before the election.

Former national security adviser and retired three-star General H.R. McMaster was on GMA to tout his new tell-all book that appears more to be about his vision for America’s role abroad than gossiping about the president. But Stephanopoulos instead spent the majority of the interview trying to get an endorsement for Joe Biden with questions like:

[Y]ou write that educated citizens best serve our democratic system by “electing principled thoughtful leaders and holding them accountable to strengthen our republic.” You worked closely with President Trump for 13 months. Is he the kind of principled and thoughtful leader you have in mind? Has he strengthened our republic? 

…Don’t you have a duty to speak out and at least say whether you think the president is the kind of principled and thoughtful leader you think Americans need right now? 

….If that’s the number one threat— division, what’s your judgment on whether or not the president has been a unifier or a divider? As you know, your colleague General Mattis who was the Pentagon secretary under President Trump said the president hasn’t even tried to unify us, he tried to divide us. That’s a fundamental judgement.

However to all these questions McMaster refused to be explicitly political. He was more forceful in his final response to Stephanopoulos’s badgering him to blame Trump:

I don’t think Donald Trump created the divisions in our society. I think what all leaders have is a responsibility not to be part of the problem, right? What I write about in “Battlegrounds” is how our adversaries how our enemies  take advantage of our divisions, try to widen the divides in our society and try to polarize us and pit us against each other…

Stephanopoulos ended the interview by asking McMaster if he would vote this year, after not voting while in the military. He pulled this same routine with John Bolton as well.

ABC pushing their guests to endorse their candidate was paid for by Honda and Toyota.

Read a partial transcript below:

Good Morning America

9/21/2020

STEPHANOPOULOS: You write that educated citizens best serve our democratic system by “electing principled thoughtful leaders and holding them accountable to strengthen our republic.” You worked closely with President Trump for 13 months. Is he the kind of principled and thoughtful leader you have in mind? Has he strengthened our republic? 

MCMASTER:  Well George, as you might know I joined the army when I was 17 when I went to West Point. I made it a point my whole career not to be partisan at all. What I wanted to do in Battlegrounds is give the American people an opportunity to judge candidates based on our most crucial challenges to our security and prosperity and what we can work together to do, how we can work together to advance security and prosperity for future generations. I hope the book provides all Americans with criteria for evaluating the candidates. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Right. You lay out the criteria. You lay out what you saw. Don’t you have a duty to speak out and at least say whether you think the president is the kind of principled and thoughtful leader you think Americans need right now? 

MCMASTER: Well you know I think I have a duty to comment on policy and really what is so important for us, what is most important for us to secure ourselves against some really very significant threats. As we are enmeshed in this vitriolic partisan discourse that we see every day, the world hasn’t stopped. And so this book is really an effort to try, George. I hope I can succeed in doing it, to transcend that partisan politics and really help Americans come together in a respectful, in a respectful nonpartisan discussion of these challenges. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to get to the policy part of this as well. But I  mean, I think the reason I want to press this is you write our divisions, our partisan divisions are in some way the greatest national security threat because they make us vulnerable to our allies like Russia, like China. If that’s the number one threat— division, what’s your judgment on whether or not the president has been a unifier or a divider? As you know, your colleague General Mattis who was the Pentagon secretary under President Trump said the president hasn’t even tried to unify us, he tried to divide us. That’s a fundamental judgement.

MCMASTER: Well you know,  I don’t think Donald Trump created the divisions in our society. I think what all leaders have is a responsibility not to be part of the problem, right? What I write about in “Battlegrounds” is how our adversaries how our enemies  take advantage of our divisions, try to widen the divides in our society and try to polarize us and pit us against each other….

 



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