Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called former Defence Secretary Robert Gates “an absolute clown”, who helped in creating a “mess” in the Middle East.
The 70-year-old reality TV star told his supporters in North Carolina that he “does not like critics” after Gates – who served under two successive presidents of both the parties – attacked him in an op-ed, saying Trump is “beyond repair” when it comes to national security and is not fit to be the president of the country.
“We’re dealing with incompetent people, we’re dealing with stupid people, we’re dealing with people like Robert Gates that don’t have a clue, and who when they leave office criticise everybody. I don’t like critics. I don’t like critics. I like people that get it done and get it done right,” he said.
Donald Trump also called the former secretary of defence “a nasty guy” and “an absolute clown.”
The real estate tycoon said he has never met Gates and has only seen him on television.
Gates had called Trump “stubbornly uninformed” about the world in his article.
Trump reiterated that Gates is a “mess”.
“Never met the guy, saw him on television, didn’t like him. He’s a mess, okay, he’s a mess. So he goes out and he says negative things about me. I never met him, I never talked to him. Believe me, I am so much better at what he’s doing than he is, you won’t even believe it,” Trump said at an election rally in North Carolina.