Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has begun efforts to pull together a team of foreign policy advisers, according to a report by Foreign Policy.
The Democratic candidate is said to have tapped Bill French, a policy analyst at National Security Network — a nonprofit policy group dedicated to building a “strong progressive national security and counter conservative spin — to help craft his foreign policy messaging and coordinate with outside advisers and experts, Foreign Policy reported, citing sources close to his campaign. French has testified on various proposals for combating the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and has written about U.S. defense policy and its modern history.
Sanders has largely focused his campaign on economic inequality, and in recent weeks rival candidate Hillary Clinton has slammed Sanders’ team, claiming that it lacks the experts needed to advise the future commander in chief. Clinton’s network of foreign policy advisers is extensive, largely a result of her tenure as secretary of state.
“There really isn’t any kind of foreign-policy network that is supporting and advising Sen. Sanders,” Clinton told NBC’s “Meet the Press” earlier this month. “This job requires you to be ready on all aspects of it on the first day. And we know we’ve got a particularly complex world right now. And the president’s not going to have the time.”
Meanwhile, Republican front-runner Donald Trump promised earlier this month that he will soon be releasing his list of foreign policy advisers. Trump has been criticized for his comments about foreign policy and national security, including his plan to make Mexico pay for a wall along the U.S. border and his promise to bomb oil fields controlled by the Islamic State group, aka ISIL or ISIS.