Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | Michael Hayden | Trump | Election | Crisis | Military

Scarborough to Gen. Hayden: Trump Asked 'Why Can't We Use' Nukes?

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Wednesday, 03 Aug 2016 08:53 AM

 

A Donald Trump presidency could be "setting up the circumstances that create a crisis in civil military relationships, retired Gen. Michael Hayden told Joe Scarborough Wednesday, as the MSNBC host shared an anecdote that Trump recently asked an adviser why the U.S. couldn't just choose to use nuclear weapons.

"The commander in chief is the commander in chief," Hayden, a former National Security Agency and CIA director told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, after show co-host Joe Scarborough asked him if there are safeguards to stop "any president who may not be stable from launching a nuclear attack against another country."

Scarborough told Hayden that he had been told that a "foreign policy expert on international level went to advise Donald Trump, and three times he [Trump] asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked, 'At one point if we have them, why can't we use them?'"

Scarborough asked Hayden, "What is the time frame between his decision and when the nuclear weapons are launched?"

"Joe, it's scenario dependent," Hayden responded. "The system is designed for speed and decisiveness. It's not designed to debate the decision."

Hayden also raised "a concern that Gen. John Allen raised several days ago. He greatly fears, and I frankly share that fear, that we are heading toward — [that] we may be setting up the circumstances that create a crisis in civil military relationships. Not nuclear annihilation, but steps far below pressing the nuclear trigger."

If that happens, said Hayden, "it may actually strain and test the fabric of our civilian military control."

Scarborough's line of questioning came after Hayden explained that "the Constitution, Article II, puts great power in the executive [branch].

"The Founders knew that the national defense required authority, direction, agility and speed. There's a lot of authority in the office, and the Armed Forces gives a great deal of deference culturally to their civilian leadership."

Further, Hayden said he does not know if Trump could get the same type of security clearance that would have been necessary to work as a deputy to him when he was with the CIA or the NSA.

"He's going to get some briefings between now and Election Day," said Hayden. "Frankly, they'll be labeled secret, but they'll be secret light. They'll be generalized discussions. Both candidates will get them."

Even more serious, he told political commentator Mike Barnicle, is that there will be teams in the cities for the two candidates on election night, and the next morning the person with the most votes will get the president's official daily briefing.

"Simply stated, carry Virginia, carry Ohio, carry Florida, you get all of the secrets," said Hayden. "That makes the vote pretty important."

Hayden said that there is "no one" among his peers, whether or not they think like him, advising Trump.

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A Donald Trump presidency could be setting up the circumstances that create a crisis in civil military relationships,retired Gen. Michael Hayden told Joe Scarborough Wednesday, as the MSNBC host shared an anecdote that Trump recently asked an adviser why the U.S. couldn't...
Michael Hayden, Trump, Election, Crisis, Military
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2016-53-03
Wednesday, 03 Aug 2016 08:53 AM
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