William Cohen, Bill Clinton's former secretary of defense, backed Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump for the White House, saying during an appearance Wednesday on MSNBC that she would be better able to handle a global crisis.
Cohen, also a former Republican senator from Maine, was also asked about Trump's proposal for "a dramatic expansion of the military." He responded by noting how money is spent is just as important as how much is spent, and he is more concerned about cyber attacks and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
"So what kind of threats do we see out there? You mention the cyber threat, which is critical," Cohen said. "We also had to be careful about nuclear weapons. This is one of the reasons I have been certainly unhappy with the position taken by Trump saying... South Korea should consider having nuclear weapons. The more nuclear weapons that are in existence, the greater likelihood some of that material, bombs themselves, may fall into the hands of terrorist groups."
"We have to maintain a strong deterrent and then systemically reduce the numbers that we have until we get to the point they don't present a threat to the globe," Cohen, now head of a business consulting group in Washington, told MSNBC's Thomas Roberts.
Recently, Clinton’s campaign released an ad called "I Love War," which shows Trump praising war and nuclear weapons. In the Wednesday interview, Cohen said he "would not feel comfortable" if Trump were president during a situation like the Cuban missile crisis.
Eventually, he was asked if Clinton had earned his vote.
"In all likelihood, I would say yes," Cohen responded. "My candidate would be Jeb Bush or John Kasich. But I think in terms of feeling comfortable of someone having access to the nuclear codes under very serious circumstances, I would feel more comfortable with Hillary Clinton certainly."
MSNBC is co-hosting a Wednesday night forum on military issues for both major-party presidential candidates.
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