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Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, White House Chief of Staff to President George H.W. Bush Talks to CYInterview about Donald Trump, the Nuclear Arsenal, Gary Johnson, the Bushs, More

With Republicans officially nominating Donald Trump as their candidate for President, at the Republican National Convention, there are those who are concerned about the direction of the Party, with Mr. Trump at the top of their ticket.

Last year, Republican Party stalwart, John H. Sununu spoke with us [see here] about his book The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H.W. Bush. The former three time New Hampshire Governor and White House Chief of Staff to President George Herbert Walker Bush joins us again, this time to speak about the 2016 Presidential Election, among other things.

Featured columnist Jay Bildstein joins us for this CYInterview. You can read the highlights and listen to it in its entirety below:

Listen to the entire Governor John Sununu CYInterview:

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In an article published on The New Yorker website this week, titled Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All, Tony Schwartz, who worked with the real estate mogul on his NY Times Bestseller, Art of the Deal, was quoted as saying, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.” The New York Daily News covered that piece in an article titled ‘Art of the Deal’ co-author Tony Schwartz calls Trump a ‘sociopath’ in scathing tell-all: ‘I put lipstick on a pig.’

The most important responsibility the President of the United States has is to solemnly and responsibly act as guardian of America’s nuclear arsenal. When asked about this, in relation to a Trump presidency, former Governor Sununu shared this:

“There is a framework, a chain of command in order to execute something like that and it goes from the President through the Secretary of Defense, through the leadership of the military and frankly the relationship of those pieces to Congress is also an important part of it. And without going into the formal process, the idea of a spontaneous, irresponsible act in my opinion is not really a possibility. You can have a spontaneous response to a true disaster, the system will respond under those conditions. But it’s a much more complicated process to do something in a mode where the country has not been provoked.

And so, that’s not the scenario that worries me the most. The scenario that worries me the most is any president creating a climate of distrust amongst our allies and a climate of fear amongst our enemies would provoke our enemies to do something irrational. The irrational act I’m worried about is an act from our enemies in a climate in which our allies are no longer with us. And then we’ve got to make a decision to go alone and when you make a decision to go alone, that’s when that horrible scenario you talked about may be brought into play.”

When asked about whether former Republican Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson, who is running for President on the Libertarian ticket – with William Weld, a former Republican Governor of Massachusetts as his running mate – might serve as a viable alternative to Republican voters and fiscal conservatives who do not feel well served by Donald Trump, the former White House Chief of Staff had this to say:

“Here’s what voters are gonna have to decide amongst the three candidates that you’ve laid out there Trump, Clinton and then the Johnson ticket, they’re going to have to decide whether they can live with a Hillary Clinton presidency. Because there is no scenario I can think of in which there’s a viable alternative to Hillary Clinton other than the Republican nominee. So if people are not uncomfortable with a Hillary Clinton presidency, they might be inclined to go to [Gary] Johnson.”

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said this week that the Bush family is behaving childishly for not attending the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bush family is considered Republican Party royalty. As a friend of the family, Mr. Sununu offered this about them not attending:

“I find it perfectly logical that the Bush family has chosen not to attend the convention. I’ve chosen not to go to the convention. The convention is not a convenient place to move around under the current security conditions, among other reasons. And frankly, they had a son in the campaign and for whatever reason, whether its issues or personality, the family has chosen not to be publicly supportive of Mr. Trump and chose not to go to the convention. I understand, you know, people are people. They have feelings. They have sensitivity. … As much as people are saying the Bushs should’ve gotten over it, I think the Trumps should get over it and move on.”

Finally, giving his personal thoughts on the current political climate in America, he offered this:

“I feel in a way, anger at the anger that has been created by a lack of leadership. And I think one of the reasons we have the political situation we have is people are angry, but they don’t know where to focus their anger. And so it’s always easier to be angrier at your friends than your enemies.”

You can find more information and purchase a copy of The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H.W. Bush clicking here

You can follow Governor John Sununu on Twitter clicking here

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You can follow Chris Yandek on Twitter here.