Republican Ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden: U.S. May Not Survive Trump

Written by Dana Sanchez
Michael Hayden
CIA Director Michael Hayden gestures during a news conference at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

The damage that President Donald Trump has done to American institutions so far can be survived, but the U.S. as we know it may not be able to endure two terms of him as president.

That’s the opinion of the former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden, a conservative Republican who has worked for both Democrat and Republican presidents.

Hayden suffered a stroke in November 2018. “His voice, like that of so many credible conservative critics of President Donald Trump who have either died, retired, or folded under pressure, was at least temporarily muted from the public discourse,” wrote John Ziegler, a radio program host, documentary film writer/director and Mediaite columnist.

A retired Air Force general and former head of the National Security Agency, Hayden has fought rhetorical battles with Trump over intelligence issues, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hayden has been a frequent commentator on CNN, Twitter and other outlets.

Last week, Hayden agreed to do one of his first interviews since his stroke, talking on Ziegler’s Individual 1 Podcast. During the interview, he said he thought the U.S. could not survive a second Trump term.

In the same interview, Hayden said:

  • What is outlined in the Mueller report is enough to warrant Trump’s impeachment, but the best course of action would be to just vote him out of office in 2020.
  • Attorney General Bill Barr purposely deceived the American people on Trump’s behalf. Firing Jeff Sessions to hire Barr was the worst thing Trump did during the investigation.
  • U.S. standing in the world has suffered significantly because of Trump’s behavior as president.
  • The resignation of the U.K. ambassador to the U.S. is a big concern along with the fact that Trump consistently treats our closest allies like enemies and some of our worst enemies like allies.

Hayden is hardly alone in the intelligence community for thinking Trump is a threat to the U.S., wrote Carl Snowden, a longtime civil rights activist from Annapolis, in a June 24 Capital Gazette column. Five people were killed on June 28, 2018, in a mass shooting at the Capital Gazette.

Other such critics include former CIA Director John Brennan; James Clapper, the former NSA director and director of national intelligence; former FBI director James Comey, who President Trump fired; and retired National Security Agency police officer Lewis Bracy.

“Certainly, no one can remember the last time more than 700 federal prosecutors both Republicans and Democrats signed onto an open letter against a president,” Snowden wrote.

Snowden’s advice? “Be patient. Sometimes it appears that nothing will stick to Trump. His countless misstatements, tweets of insults or gaffes.

Snowden said he thinks the 2018 midterm elections were a dress rehearsal for what is coming. “Sometimes people do not appreciate history. Voters have a way of righting a situation,” Snowden said.

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“I am convinced that our democracy while being challenged will survive,” Snowden added. Here’s an excerpt from Snowden’s column:

“I believe that people are paying attention to what members of the intelligence community have been saying.

“It is the people that have often been in the shadows that make it possible for us to enjoy the sunlight of democracy that we have … for these critics of the president, I would simply remind them of what another great patriot named Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘The greatest march that an American can participate in, is the march to the ballot box.’

“Also, he reminded us that the ‘arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice’. Patience is not only a virtue, but it is also a necessity in these trying times.”