Tags: Michael Hayden | Pompeo | CIA

Gen. Michael Hayden: Pompeo Needs to Show CIA He Has Their Backs

Image: Gen. Michael Hayden: Pompeo Needs to Show CIA He Has Their Backs

(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 09:47 AM

Rep. Mike Pompeo is facing not only confirmation hearings this week, but potentially taking over a CIA that's already come under criticism from President-elect Donald Trump, and Langley will need to know that the Kansas Republican is someone who has their back, former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden said Tuesday.

"The president has to feel he needs you," Hayden told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, even if he's not respectful of the agency or its director. "What we've got now is a president-elect I don't think instinctively goes to this place.

"He's got these off-priority universe assumptions, [and] confidence in himself and his current world view. He isn't that inquisitive about what the guys at Langley think. That puts an additional burden on Pompeo to get the audience."

Hayden, now a principal with the Chertoff Group, said Pompeo's nomination has been "accepted with enthusiasm" by the CIA, and he takes the opportunity seriously.

"At his confirmation hearing, he'll get a bunch of questions," said Hayden. "He just needs to keep in mind it doesn't matter who's asking the questions, he's answering for the gang up river. Everyone at Langley will have their TV sets on.

"What they are going to want to hear, kind of the sense that Leon Panetta eventually gave them, that 'I've got your back. You go do your thing. You're good at your thing. I've got your back.'"

Pompeo's confirmation hearing was to have begun on Wednesday, but The Washington Post reports it's been postponed one day, and will start on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The reasons for the delay were not announced, but Democratic aides told The Post that pressure by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to stretch out the confirmations seemed to be taking effect.

Meanwhile, Trump has accused the intelligence community of "being corrupt, incompetent in their work, and politicized," said Hayden, and that is "digging the hole Pompeo and others have to find a way out of."

It's not impossible though, as "we're not yet falling over the precipice," said Hayden, but Trump will have to work to make relations better.

"I think the president in his first month gets in the car, the motorcade, gets on the GW [George Washington] Parkway, go into the iconic hallway at Langley and hold what will in every inch look like a campaign rally," said Hayden.

"Do it for the CIA workforce. Oh, by the way, walk to the counterterrorism center. Go pay a visit to the Syrian task force. Begin to build just a bit of some of those personal relationships. That's not a heavy lift and he'd be good at it."

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Rep. Mike Pompeo is facing not only confirmation hearings this week, but potentially taking over a CIA that's already come under criticism from President-elect Donald Trump...
Michael Hayden, Pompeo, CIA
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2017-47-10
Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 09:47 AM
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