Tags: michael hayden | trump jr | remarks | autocracy

Gen. Hayden on Trump Jr. Remarks: 'An Appeal to the Heart of Autocracy'

(CNN/Twitter)

By    |   Wednesday, 20 December 2017 11:03 AM

Donald Trump Jr.'s comments about Robert Mueller's Russia investigation are concerning to Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, who said that they were "scary."

"I have to confess to you, when I first heard that earlier this evening — that was a little scary, that is an appeal to the heart of autocracy, and challenging the patriotism of those folks who work in the United States government," Hayden said Tuesday night in an interview with CNN's Don Lemon.

The president's son, in a speech to a conservative college student group in Florida on Tuesday, said that the investigation shows "there are people at the highest levels that don't want to let America be America."

"We've got good institutions in the country. They're imperfect, they make mistakes, we have imperfect people that send messages they shouldn't send. But that in no way undercuts the legitimacy of these institutions," Hayden said.

"I don't know that Don Jr. has been marked by cool, calm judgment in his public utterances in the past, but what it suggests to me, is that in their heart of hearts, they don't think that this investigation is going to a happy place, at least not a happy place from their point of view," Hayden continued.

Hayden said his comments were not a prediction about "criminal indictments about collusion or anything like that."

However, he said, the results of the investigation so far are concerning and "as the investigation goes on, we learn more and more about the synchronization of activities of the Trump campaign, including the president's son, with WikiLeaks and the actions of the Russian Federation," Hayden said.

The former CIA director said that Trump Jr.'s comments could undermine public confidence in the government, noting "the collateral damage they're doing to American institutions, belief in the American government, the integrity of the American system."

"My great fear, based on that earlier quote (by Trump Jr.) is that we're going to do long-term damage to things on which we depend," Hayden said.

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Donald Trump Jr.'s comments about Robert Mueller's Russia investigation are concerning to Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, who said that they were "scary."
michael hayden, trump jr, remarks, autocracy
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2017-03-20
Wednesday, 20 December 2017 11:03 AM
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