Tags: michael hayden | world | losing | faith | dysfunctional | white house

Hayden: World Losing Faith in 'Incredibly Dysfunctional WH'

CNN's "New Day"/Twitter

By    |   Thursday, 27 Jul 2017 12:43 PM

The whole world is watching "what appears to be an incredibly dysfunctional White House," and as a result may no longer have a great deal of confidence in the United States, retired CIA and NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden said Thursday.

"I harken back to a breakfast I had in Great Britain about a year ago, an international table for breakfast, a long and involved discussion," Hayden told CNN "New Day" anchor Chris Cuomo. "At the end, one of our European friends turned to me and simply said, 'you do realize, don't you, how much we rely on you Americans to do the right thing?'"

But now, with the growing infighting in the White House, capped off by a CNN interview Thursday with new communications director Anthony Scaramucci calling on chief of staff Reince Priebus to explain he's not behind any of the leaks, Hayden said the world could be losing faith in the United States.

"There are ways to handle leaks," said Hayden. "One is to make war on your workforce. That's really successful. You get leaks, and I'm not excusing leaks in any way, but you get leaks when people feel as if they have exhausted all means within the government to make their voices heard."

People leak information when they have lost all other alternatives, said Hayden.

"My policy at the agency [CIA] was to simply open up communications with the workforce," said Hayden. "I gave them my email account. I'm not suggesting the president do that, but I gave them my email account and I answered every one of them, and I got thousands for a couple of weeks. Then they began to taper off and so did the leaks."

The leaks coming from President Donald Trump's White House reflect the atmosphere in the administration itself, said Hayden, and if Trump wants to stop the leaks, he needs to change the atmosphere.

Hayden on Thursday also pushed back at Trump's comments on Russian involvement in the 2016 election. While the intelligence community has said there was interference, Trump pointed out that its members weren't correct on the matter of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

"That WMD thing, that was my generation," said Hayden. "That took place 15 years ago and we've taken full responsibility for getting that wrong."

There is a new generation of intelligence officers who are "very careful" when they attach a level of high confidence to any kind of judgment, including on Russia and the election, he continued.

"I was in Aspen last week," said Hayden, referring to a national security conference held there. "The current and former, the Trump and Obama heads of CIA, Director of National Intelligence, Homeland Security and the Homeland Security adviser all said the Russians did this without a doubt."

The intelligence community responds to the president's priorities, however, and the president has indicated that Russia "is not a high priority," said Hayden, "so I fear we're not doing enough to learn what happened and to prevent it from happening again."

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The whole world is watching "what appears to be an incredibly dysfunctional White House," and as a result may no longer have a great deal of confidence in the United States, retired CIA and NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden said Thursday.
michael hayden, world, losing, faith, dysfunctional, white house
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2017-43-27
Thursday, 27 Jul 2017 12:43 PM
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