Robert Gates, who served as Secretary of Defense under former President Barack Obama, is now calling out President Joe Biden for mishandling classified documents and for his handling of the war in Ukraine.
During an interview on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Gates discussed current political issues with host Chuck Todd — including the Russia-Ukraine war and Biden’s classified documents scandal.
When asked what the president should be doing differently regarding Ukraine, Gates pushed the establishment line of continuing to escalate the war, claiming that the Biden administration’s current actions — shipping tanks and other military hardware to the war-torn nation — should have happened months ago.
“A lot of this could’ve been done sooner,” the former defense secretary said. “And, you know, they’re talking about it potentially being six months, a year, or more before the Abrams tanks get there. I think the key thing about the Abrams tank decision was that it unlocked Germans being able to provide.”
When questioned about Biden’s classified documents scandal — as well as the discovery of classified material by former Vice President Mike Pence, and former President Donald Trump’s possession of classified documents — Gates argued that the problem is that those who are handling the documents are negligent.
“You have a legacy, I think, in Washington of sort of being a guy that sort of fixes sort of dumb problems. Meaning Like stuff — you’re like, “Why isn’t this fixed?” Todd asked. “So how would you [fix] this classified document situation that our politics finds itself in, is this something that the bureaucracy should fix? Or is there something more nefarious?”
“Well, I think – I think it’s about people being more responsible,” Gates replied. “I think there’s an element of carelessness. In some cases, there may be intent to take the documents. I think maybe we ought to look at the way transitions take place so that there’s a more orderly process for these classified documents.”
After the NBC host argued that the Pentagon was “orderly when it comes to classified documents,” Gates claimed that no classified material ever leaves the building.
This isn’t the first time that Gates has taken shots at Biden, calling out his foreign policy record — which many critics have said is disastrous.
In 2019, the former defense secretary warned that Biden had been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
As one of his examples, Gates said that Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan made him physically sick to watch because it did not have to be as bad as it ended up being.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates stands by his statement:
Has been wrong on every major foreign policy and national security issue over the last four decades"
From Oct. 2021 pic.twitter.com/9qewmb8dxs
— Lawyerforlaws (@lawyer4laws) December 8, 2022