Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said Wednesday it may be “getting close” to the point that some intelligence agency leaders will have to stand up to President Donald Trump over his declassification order, and quit if he doesn’t back down.
In remarks on CNN’s “New Day” show, Hayden said the order was done “for political purposes,” adding its ultimate aim is to “delegitimize the ongoing investigation” of special counsel Robert Mueller.
“Sooner or later we will come to a point for what the president demands is so egregious… that the right thing for them to do — to signal the alarm and send up the flare — is to say ‘if you want this done, Mr. President, it will have to be done by somebody else,’” Hayden said. “We may be getting close to that point.”
Hayden pointed out the orBy the way, John, not beyond the president's authority here, it's just wrong that he exercises the authority in this way,
On Tuesday, there was a similar warning from another ex-CIA director and Trump critic, John Brennan, who said he hoped “individuals of conscience” would work to block Trump’s order.
Trump’s order Monday demands that the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence declassify text messages and documents, including those related to the origins of the Russia investigation.
Hayden pointed out that the reclassification order is "not beyond the president's authority here, it's just wrong that he exercises the authority in this way."
Bloomberg reported the DOJ and the FBI are expected to redact some documents to protect sources and methods, but that the president has the authority to bypass the agencies’ recommendations and declassify the material on his own.
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