Ex-Bush CIA chief Hayden denounces Trump comments on Russian election interference
Former CIA chief Gen. Michael Hayden knocked President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats and Trump are all in on immigration for the 2020 election Trump to allow US companies to sell products to Huawei Trump says he brought up Khashoggi murder with Saudi crown prince MORE on Saturday over comments he made about the prospect of accepting foreign help during an election.
Hayden, who served under Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, said during an interview with CNN that Trump’s comments this month about “listen[ing]” to foreign sources that offered dirt on his political opponents were “awful,” and prevented intelligence officers from adequately doing their jobs.
“Now the next day, they go to work and do the best they can. But, you know, that’s really hard,” Hayden said.
The former CIA head and director of national intelligence (DNI) went on to call Trump’s admission of willingness to accept such information “truly unbelievable.”
Trump previously told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he wouldn’t commit to calling the FBI if he was approached by a foreign power with damaging info on his opponent.
“I think maybe you do both,” Trump said earlier this month.
“I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening,” the president continued at the time. “It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI.”
Hayden weighed in on Trump’s remarks in his first public comments since his foundation announced late last year that the then-73-year-old had suffered a stroke.
“He is receiving expert medical care for which the family is grateful,” the center said in a statement last year, adding: “As General Hayden begins the healing process, the family requests that their privacy be respected. The General and his family greatly appreciate the warm wishes and prayers of his friends, colleagues, and supporters.”