WASHINGTON, DC – Former Director of National Intelligence and Ambassador John Negroponte endorsed Joe Biden for president on August 20, The Daily Beast (TDB) reported. Greek-American Negroponte, “a longtime and highly controversial Republican foreign policy figure,” and “former top spy,” in an interview with TBD “outlined his rationale for supporting Biden as a means of preventing President Donald Trump from securing a second term in the White House.”
“All roads lead to Trump in a way, I’m just not sure the country can withstand another four years of the presidency with a man who has shown such disregard to the office,” Negroponte, the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and the United Nations under President George W. Bush, told TDB.
“Negroponte’s support of Biden comes as some of the most prominent names in the national security community, including those who served in Republican administrations, are publicly embracing the Democratic nominee’s campaign,” TDB reported, adding that “during the second night of the Democratic National Convention, former Secretary of State Colin Powell offered his backing of Biden’s presidential run as well.”
“The real issue for Americans is whether Biden has the character, compassion, and life experience needed to represent the United States as president and the requisite respect for the office to which he aspires,” Negroponte told TDB, “He beats Mr. Trump on these attributes hands down.”
Negroponte added that “just like Presidents Nixon and George H.W. Bush, he had [a] seat at the table during the entire eight years of the Obama administration. Nixon and Bush were arguably the two best prepared candidates for the presidency in modern times,” TDB reported.
Negroponte described Biden as an “experienced politician,” “middle of the road kind of person,” and “a wise gentleman,” adding that “we can use a little bit of that kind of wisdom that I think Joe Biden has accumulated over the years,” TDB reported.
It should be noted that Biden and Negroponte have disagreed in the past concerning domestic surveillance and on the situation in Iraq, TDB reported, noting that “in 2005, Negroponte was the first director of national intelligence, overseeing the intelligence agencies at a time when the National Security Agency warrantlessly collected phone and internet data on millions of Americans.”
“Asked if he regrets the NSA spying on Americans, Negroponte said no, instead arguing that he was ‘very comfortable’ with his involvement years later,” TDB reported.
He said, “No, certainly not. I am very comfortable with the role I played and the positions I took and the positions that I defended during that time. Don’t forget, that was then, and in those days, we were responding to an attack against the United States that resulted in the killing of 3,000 people and we had this whole issue of a global ‘War on Terror,’” TDB reported.
“In 2013, Business Insider surfaced previous remarks Biden made in 2006, where he said that certain aspects of domestic surveillance are ‘very, very intrusive,’” TDB reported.
In the television clip cited by Business Insider, Biden had said, “I don't have to listen to your phone calls to know what you're doing. If I know every single phone call that you made, I am able to determine every single person you talked to. I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive,” TDB reported.
Asked “whether he believes mass surveillance should continue under a hypothetical Biden administration, Negroponte said, “We should all just observe whatever rules Congress might lay down for us, but I wouldn’t drop it entirely,” TDB reported.