According to The New York Times presidential frontrunner Donald Trump met with the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, last August.

Haass spokesman Iva Zoric released a statement on the meeting after Trump praised Haass on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I respect Richard Haass, who’s on your show a lot,” Mr. Trump said. “And I like him a lot. I have a few people that I really like and respect.”

Other candidates held briefings with Haass and the CFR, including Senator Marco Rubio, Jim Webb, Hillary Clinton, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Jeb Bush.

Haass is also a member of the influential Trilateral Commission and a Bilderberg attendee. He was appointed special envoy to the State Department by Barack Obama.

14 of the Obama administration’s top cabinet picks were affiliated with the CFR, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg group.

Earlier this week a number of prominent neocons calling themselves “GOP national security leaders”—including Michael Chertoff, Max Boot, Eric Edelman and Robert Kagan—released an open letter stating their opposition to the candidacy of Trump.

“The experts who signed the letter said they’ll work to prevent Trump’s election, a stance that suggests there may be a shallow pool of experienced conservative national security professionals willing to join Trump’s administration should he win in November,” ABC News reported.

Haass did not sign the letter.

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