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Ex-CIA, NSA Hayden: 'Think Twice' Before Taking Trump Job

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Former CIA and National Security Agency head Michael Hayden (Tom Williams/AP)

By    |   Monday, 13 Nov 2017 06:08 PM

Former CIA and National Security Agency head Michael Hayden says his advice for anyone offered a high-ranking intelligence job by President Donald Trump is to think it over carefully.

"If someone were to call me and say 'I've been offered a senior job,' I'd tell them 'Think twice,'" Hayden told The Hill.

Hayden told The Hill tensions have renewed between the president and intelligence services after Trump said during his Asia trip he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin's assertion his country did not meddle in the 2016 American presidential election.

Trump has since walked back that statement to say he believes Putin "feels he and Russia did not meddle in the election," while adding, "As to whether or not I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies. I believe in our . . . intelligence agencies."

That answer has not satisfied many in the intel agency, including former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who both served under President Barack Obama.

Trump responded to their criticism by calling them "political hacks." Hayden said that response is doing nothing to foster morale within the ranks.

"For a while he was saying Putin's sincerity trumped the fact-based intelligence," Hayden said. "People will ask themselves 'Does what I do still matter?'"

Trump's statement he backs the intelligence community "as currently constituted" also is "an insult to the intelligence community."

Hayden also told The Hill he believes Trump appointees Dan Coats, who is Director of National Intelligence, and Mike Pompeo, who runs the CIA, want to run agencies independent of their boss. But his actions put them in a position of pleasing both Trump and their staffs in public statements.

If they side too closely with their employees who believe Russia meddled, they could lose access to the president.

There is a way for Trump to make up, though, Hayden said.

"He'd need to say three sentences: 'The Russians did it. I know the Russians did it. We will not rest until we know the extent of what Russia did and what we can do to stop it from happening again,'" he said.

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Anyone offered a high-ranking intelligence job by President Donald Trump has to think it over carefully, former CIA and National Security Agency head Michael Hayden said Monday.
michael hayden, cia, nsa, intelligence
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2017-08-13
Monday, 13 Nov 2017 06:08 PM
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