POLITICS

Former Top John McCain Aide Says He's Backing Hillary Clinton Over Donald Trump

While many Republicans are team #NeverTrump, few have actually said they'll support a Democrat instead.

Mark Salter, who served as chief of staff to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and worked as an adviser on both of McCain's presidential campaigns, says he'll be supporting Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump this fall. 

Salter, known as one of McCain's closest confidants, tweeted Tuesday that he's "with her," a nod to Clinton's campaign slogan. 

The tweet came after Trump cited a National Enquirer story accusing Ted Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, of playing a role in John F. Kennedy's assassination. Cruz's campaign has dismissed the story as "garbage."

While #NeverTrump has become a popular refrain in some factions of the Republican Party as the brash businessman inches closer to the GOP nomination, few Republicans have actually said they'll back Clinton or her Democratic primary opponent Bernie Sanders instead. 

Salter has long criticized Trump's presidential bid. Last July, he penned an essay for RealClearPolitics comparing Trump to P.T. Barnum. In a January Esquire essay, he described the candidate as "a cartoon villain, a fake, a cheat, a liar, a creep, a bullying, bragging, bullshitting, blowhard kind of asshole." And in February, Salter warned of the dangers of electing Trump as commander in chief, predicting he "would have American soldiers commit atrocities as a matter of national policy."

In that essay, published by RealClearPolitics, Salter hinted at his future support for Clinton.

"If you can see him plainly and you love our country, you must vote against him," he wrote. "Even if that means electing Hillary Clinton."

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