Paul Wolfowitz, a Republican adviser to former U.S. President George W. Bush, plans to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November presidential election despite his “serious reservations”, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday.
Wolfowitz, who served as deputy defense secretary under Bush and also as president of the World Bank, said he viewed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as a security risk because of his admiration of Russian President Putin and his views on China, the magazine reported.
“It’s important to make it clear how unacceptable he is,” the magazine quoted Wolfowitz as saying in an interview.
Wolfowitz joins a long list of Republicans who have said they will not vote for Trump.
“I wish there was a candidate whom I could support enthusiastically. I will have to vote for Hillary Clinton, although I have serious reservations about her,” he said.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll this week showed that Clinton would win the key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia, and have a 95 percent chance of beating Trump if the election were held now.
Wolfowitz rejected a common description of him as a key architect of the 2003 U.S. war against Iraq, saying that if he had truly been the architect many things would have gone differently, the magazine reported.
Wolfowitz said the goal had been to free the country, not occupy it, creating tensions with many Iraqis.
He also defended the decision to invade Iraq, saying it was based on intelligence that later turned out to be faulty.
“Of course we would have proceeded differently if we had known that Saddam Hussein was not stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, but was only planning to do so,” he said. “We would not have invaded.”
In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine in May 2003, several months after the invasion, he suggested there were multiple reasons for it, but the Bush administration highlighted Iraq’s supposed WMD as the justification for the war as the most politically convenient.
“For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on,” he said at the time.
(This version of the story has been refiled to correct typo in second paragraph)
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Ralph Boulton)