Washington: Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump has announced to appoint a top American Senator as head of his national security team.
In a statement, Trump said Jeff Sessions, who has advised him on issues such as trade and immigration, will serve as his
National Security Advisory Committee.
"It is an honour to have Jeff as a member of the team. I have such great respect for him and I look forward to working with him on the issues most important to Americans," Trump said on Thursday.
The announcement came hours after he was blasted by top Republican national security experts who said that they were opposed to his presidency as his vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent in principle.
Sessions, who has been on the Armed Services Committee for almost 20 years and is Chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, had endorsed him over the weekend.
"Trump and the American people know our country needs a clear-eyed foreign policy rooted in the national interest. We need to understand the limits of our ability to intervene successfully in other nations. It is time for a healthy dose of foreign policy realism," said Sessions.
"In the Middle East, this means forming partnerships based on shared interests, not merely overthrowing regimes in the dangerous attempt to plant democracies. We must also combat the refugee crisis by creating regional safe zones, rather than depopulating the region by migration," he said.
"The only path to long-term stability and resolution of this humanitarian crisis for the United States and our European allies is to work towards the safe return of migrants to their home countries, as Trump has noted. This strategy will also protect our own national security," said Sessions.
Earlier in an open letter, 95 members of the Republican national security community slammed Trump on his national security, alleging that his advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars is a recipe for economic disaster in a globally connected world and that his embrace of the expansive use of torture is inexcusable.
"His hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric undercuts the seriousness of combating Islamic radicalism by alienating partners in the Islamic world making significant contributions to the effort. Furthermore, it endangers the safety and Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of American Muslims," they said in an open letter.
"Controlling our border and preventing illegal immigration is a serious issue, but his insistence that Mexico will fund a wall on the southern border inflames unhelpful passions, and rests on an utter misreading of, and contempt for, our southern neighbour," they said.
"Similarly, his insistence that close allies such as Japan must pay vast sums for protection is the sentiment of a racketeer, not the leader of the alliances that have served us so well since World War II," the letter said.
"His admiration for foreign dictators such as Vladimir Putin is unacceptable for the leader of the world's greatest democracy. He is fundamentally dishonest," the letter said.