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Robert Gates: Worried Trump 'Doesn't Appear to Listen to People'

Robert Gates: Worried Trump 'Doesn't Appear to Listen to People'
Former Secretary of Defense, Director of the CIA  Robert Gates (William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 02 May 2016 09:49 AM

Ex-Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Donald Trump's foreign policy speech last week showed the GOP front-runner doesn't understand the difference between finagling business deals and negotiating with "sovereign powers."

In an interview on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopolous" on Sunday, Gates asserts "there's a give and take in international relations that is different than in the business community."

"Based on the speech, you have somebody who doesn't understand the difference between a business negotiation and a negotiation with sovereign powers," Gates said.

"He, on the one hand says, we need to be a more reliable ally to our friends. And in the next breath, he says we're going to rip up all those burden-sharing agreements and make them go their own way if they don't pay for everything."

Gates concedes America's allies "ought to be doing more."

"But how do you get them there when you're dealing with 28 sovereign countries?" he said.

Gates adds "many foreign leaders" have voiced concerns about a Trump presidency as well, ticking off "his unpredictability, his lack of understanding of the complexity of international affairs, his threats, his claims that he's going to make other countries do things when, in fact, the president of the United States does not have the power to make them do things."

But it's not just Trump's foreign policy that's troubling, Gates asserts.

"One of the things that worries me is that he doesn't appear to listen to people," he said. "He believes he has all the answers. That he's the smartest man in the room. I've worked with different presidents. Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Barack Obama.

"One thing they all had in common was to listen to people with experience and made their own independent decisions. They've gone in different directions — but never assumed they have all the answers."

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Ex-Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Donald Trump's foreign policy speech last week showed the GOP front-runner doesn't understand the difference between finagling business deals and negotiating with sovereign powers. In an interview on ABC's This Week...
robert gates, trump, doesnt listen, business, countries, different
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Monday, 02 May 2016 09:49 AM
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