Tags: Donald Trump | North Korea | Trump Administration | michael hayden | words | donald trump | war

Hayden: Trump 'Doesn't Understand' Harm His Words Can Cause

Hayden: Trump 'Doesn't Understand' Harm His Words Can Cause
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By    |   Wednesday, 11 October 2017 12:06 PM

Michael Hayden, retired four-star general and former CIA director, said Wednesday that President Donald Trump "doesn't seem to understand" the harm his rhetoric on North Korea could cause.

"It's pretty amazing what kind of behavior has become normalized around Washington these days," Hayden wrote in an op-ed released by The Hill. "I mean, I don't remember an earlier period where I was counting on the leader of North Korea to have enough emotional maturity and geopolitical wisdom to ignore the taunts of an American president."

Trump dismissed the use of diplomacy to settle tensions with North Korea, saying that "only one thing will work" on Twitter. 

"He didn't further identify the 'one thing,'" Hayden wrote, "but he was clearly implying military action."

Trump also ominously told reporters earlier this week, "in front of all of the nation's four-star combatant commanders and their spouses during a White House photo op… that the formal scene was the 'calm before the storm,'" and when asked further about what he meant, Trump said: "You'll find out."

"To my ear, neither statement rang 'presidential,'" the general wrote, "and I'm pretty sure that the four-stars weren't thrilled with being props for the president's unscheduled, extemporaneous threats."

Hayden then advised Trump that "a president wields great power and needs to act differently than, say, a Manhattan real estate developer. What a president says has weight beyond the words, weight beyond the man. President Trump doesn't seem to understand this."

The general ended his piece with a warning about how Trump, in that same meeting, told his military leaders: "Moving forward, I also expect you to provide me with a broad range of military options, when needed, at a much faster pace."

This "was the president signaling that he has lost patience with the normal and healthy caution that people who are actually responsible for military action always have. This is his way of trying to pressure them to give him what he thinks he wants," Hayden wrote.

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Michael Hayden, retired four-star general and former CIA director, said Wednesday that President Donald Trump "doesn't seem to understand" the harm his rhetoric on North Korea could cause."
michael hayden, words, donald trump, war
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2017-06-11
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 12:06 PM
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