Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | GOP2016 | michael hayden | trump | ukraine | vladimir putin

Gen. Hayden: Trump's Talk on Ukraine 'Fact-Free Description'

"CBS This Morning"

By    |   Monday, 01 Aug 2016 12:46 PM

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden Monday criticized Donald Trump's weekend comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine as "a fact-free description" of events as they are, and said the comments may add more to the numerous statements that could turn voters against him.

"[There] was the violent change of a European border with the annexation of Crimea, which he [Trump] says he might be fine with at some point in the future," Hayden told the "CBS This Morning" program. "Beyond just what's happening in the Ukraine, can you actually live with a Europe in which you can change borders based upon popular sovereignty? How much more violent would the continent become?"

On Sunday, the Republican nominee insisted to ABC's George Stephanopoulos that Putin won't be going into Ukraine.

"He's not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand," said Trump. "He's not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want."

"Well, he's already there, isn't he?" Stephanopoulos said about Crimea, which Putin took from Ukraine in early 2014.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign called Trump's comments "scary stuff" and said they show he's "unfit" for the presidency. Hayden told CBS's Gayle King that Trump's actions "would add to a body of evidence that would actually draw one towards that conclusion."

On Monday, Trump tweeted a clarification for his remarks:


Also on the program, Hayden, a former National Security Administration and CIA director, agreed that both Clinton and Trump should have equal access to intelligence briefings, as presidential candidates, but they will be "vanilla."


"This should be normal," he said. "This is just the routine run of the American electoral process. You have candidates that have actually done and said things that make serious people question their suitability about getting information, but they're going to get it."

Meanwhile, Hayden believes that Russia was behind the hacking and release of Democratic
National Committee emails, as stealing that data is "generally-accepted state espionage ... stealing that stuff is what big nations, including our own, do to other big nations."

Russia, though weaponized the information, said Hayden, to "play with our heads."

"I really don't think [Putin's] got the wherewithal, the wisdom, the cleverness, to use the data to affect the outcome of the campaign," said Hayden. "I think he's just playing with our heads. He thinks we do this to him all the time. He thinks we did the Orange Revolution. He thinks we did the Rose Revolution. He's trying to just give us a taste of our own medicine."

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Retired Gen. Michael Hayden Monday criticized Donald Trump's weekend comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine as "a fact-free description" of events as they are, and said the comments may add more to the numerous statements that could turn voters against him.
michael hayden, trump, ukraine, vladimir putin
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2016-46-01
Monday, 01 Aug 2016 12:46 PM
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