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Gen. Hayden: Trump 'Publicly Humiliated' McMaster With Russia Tweet

Gen. Hayden: Trump 'Publicly Humiliated' McMaster With Russia Tweet
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 23 February 2018 10:24 AM

President Donald Trump didn't just contradict his national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, with a tweet about the statements he'd made at the Munich Security Conference, but he "publicly humiliated him," former National Security Agency and CIA Director Michael Hayden said Friday, while commenting on reports that McMaster is leaving his White House post. 

"We see these reports periodically, so that suggests very strongly that the magic simply is isn't working in the relationship between the general and the president," Hayden told CNN's "New Day" co-host Alisyn Camerota.

"I look at this on two levels. One is personal, one is structural."

On the personal level, there has to be a bond of trust between the president and his national security adviser, said Hayden, and does not think that is happening.

"The president's tweet over the weekend after H.R. laid out the case against the Russians at the Munich Security Conference, that tweet didn't just contradict the general, it publicly humiliated him," said Hayden.

At the conference last Saturday, McMaster said that federal indictments announced the day before against 13 Russians and three companies in the Kremlin proved that "evidence is now really incontrovertible" that Moscow meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump tweeted later in the day, however, that McMaster "forgot to say" that the election's outcome was not affected by Russia and that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russians.

Hayden said the news shows there are also problems between McMaster and Trump "structurally."

"Structurally, the national security adviser is there to create a process that is methodical and disciplined on behalf of a president who is neither methodical nor disciplined," said Hayden, "so my fear is no matter who gets that job, there is still going to be a stress point there."

Hayden said he does not know that Trump was so angry at what McMaster said at the conference and that he was "indifferent."

"It seemed as if he didn't care that he was going to create serious collateral damage here," said Hayden. "Let me do a Venn diagram here. This is the universe of the people want that job, the people the president would accept that job, and the universe of people who would be good at that job.

"We're getting to a really small number inside where those three circles overlap. So I don't know who would follow in that task."

Hayden also said he would not accept that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been warned about Russian meddling and that he'll back off.

"You take the president's tweets, you take other things the president has said, he certainly is not publicly building the intellectual foundation for pushing back against the Russians," said Hayden.

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Former National Security Agency and CIA Director Michael Hayden said President Donald Trump didn't just contradict his national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, with a tweet about the statements he'd made, but he "publicly humiliated him."
michael hayden, trump, mcmaster, russia, tweet
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2018-24-23
Friday, 23 February 2018 10:24 AM
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