Tags: Trump Administration | Homeland Security | Russia | Hayden | Russia | Elections

Hayden: Russia Trying to 'Erode Confidence' in Election, Not Defeat Hillary

By    |   Friday, 14 Oct 2016 12:12 PM

Russia is "trying to erode confidence" in the election process, but it's not trying to push Donald Trump as the eventual winner over Hillary Clinton, retired Gen. Michael Hayden said Friday.

"It is to erode confidence in our political processes, it's to mess with our heads," Hayden, a former director of both the CIA and NSA, told the "CBS This Morning" program.

"It's to do to us what (Vladimir Putin) thinks we do to him and his political processes," Hayden told CBS. "It's a way of his pushing back against what he views to be American pressure."

Hayden said he does, though, believe there is a connection between Russia and WikiLeaks, which on Friday released its seventh batch of emails hacked from the account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta.

"I think the actual theft is being done by Russian criminal gangs on behalf of the Russian state at the direction of the Russian state," said Hayden. "I do think the Russians are pushing these in the direction of WikiLeaks and let them push them into the public domain."

Hayden said he would suggest to classify the leaks as part of the "Russia problem box" along with other indicators, or "actual Russian behavior to which we should respond, in my view, respond more robustly."

The retired general also believes the United States has been "too light in our response" to other Russian aggressions, including in Ukraine and in Syria, where the United States gives Russia room to operate.

"Why don't we make it American policy to wean the Europeans off of Russian gas?" said Hayden. "Why don't we just simply say, 'We got it, we're going to exploit it and we're going to ship it?"

Meanwhile, Hayden said he often is asked about the greatest national security threat to the United States.

"How much time do you have?" he said, referring to a chart he has.

"Down here, it's terrorism, even cyber," said Hayden. "Out here, three to five years, more serious. A bunch of states I call ambitious, fragile and nuclear - North Korea, Pakistan, Iran, even Russia. Then when I run the timeline out here about 10 years, I got this bubble way up here that is really important. And that is the sign of American relationship. Not saying China is an enemy but if we don't get that right over the long term, that is pass/fail."

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Russia is "trying to erode confidence" in the election process, but it's not trying to push Donald Trump as the eventual winner over Hillary Clinton, retired Gen. Michael Hayden said Friday. "It is to erode confidence in our political processes, it's to mess with our heads, ...
Hayden, Russia, Elections
401
2016-12-14
Friday, 14 Oct 2016 12:12 PM
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