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Story highlights

"I believe Hillary Clinton has the wisdom and experience to lead our country at this critical time," Scowcroft said

Despite his long history as a Republican adviser, Scowcroft has shaped Democratic views as well

(CNN) —  

Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, received an endorsement Wednesday from a heavyweight foreign policy adviser to Republican presidents.

Brent Scowcroft, who served as National Security Adviser to Presidents George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford, and who worked in the White House of Presidents Richard Nixon and George W. Bush, said Clinton “brings truly unique experience and perspective to the White House.”

His endorsement was released hours after the Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump launched a broad attack on Clinton’s experience, honesty and foreign policy experience in a 40-minute speech. Scowcroft directly rebutted Trump’s claim that Clinton does not have the temperament to lead, citing her experience working on high-pressure issues such as Iran and Israel.

“She brings deep expertise in international affairs and a sophisticated understanding of the world, which I believe are essential for the commander-in-chief,” Scowcroft said.

His backing follows that of another prominent Republican in national security circles. Richard Armitage, who served in the State and Defense Departments under George W. Bush and President Ronald Reagan, announced last week that he will vote for Clinton over Trump.

While scores of Republican experts on national security have publicly declared they cannot support Trump, fewer have taken the step to back Clinton.

“I believe Hillary Clinton has the wisdom and experience to lead our country at this critical time,” Scowcroft said.

His views have differed from Clinton’s in the past, including a divide over the wisdom of invading Iraq, a step Clinton supported at the time, while Scowcroft did not.

Despite his long history as a Republican adviser, Scowcroft has shaped Democratic views as well. During his first presidential campaign, President Barack Obama said he had “enormous sympathy” for the realist foreign policy approach of both Scowcroft and George H. W. Bush. Scowcroft later helped Obama assemble his national security team.

In a recent Atlantic magazine article outlining Obama’s foreign policy views, the President mentioned Scowcroft, saying, “I love that guy.”