Former CIA Director and Republican Michael Hayden: America May Not Survive a Second Trump Term
While the Mueller investigation was still ongoing, the person whose opinion I was most interested in hearing when it was all over was former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden. Based on my prior interviews with him, Hayden, a Republican who has worked for presidents of both political parties, is a straight shooter who was clearly keeping his power dry for what he anticipated would be a climactic moment once all the facts were in.
Unfortunately, when that time finally came Hayden had shortly before suffered a significant stroke. 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.
Yesterday, having at least partially recovered from his stroke, Hayden graciously and somewhat courageously agreed to do one of his first interviews since returning to public life on my Trump-focused podcast. The results were quite extraordinary.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Hayden is very worried about the resignation of the UK ambassador to the United States and the fact that Trump consistently treats our closest allies like enemies and some of our worst enemies like allies.
- He said there is “no question” that our standing in the world has suffered significantly because of Trump’s behavior as president.
- Based on his experience as CIA Director, he is says the report this week that Russia was behind the Seth Rich conspiracy theory gaining traction in the American media is “absolutely true,” though he blames our manipulative news media, specifically Fox News, and gullible population, more than he even does the Russians.
- The Mueller report was even worse for Trump than he had anticipated and he eagerly looks forward to what Robert Mueller will say in his congressional testimonies next week.
- In his opinion, Attorney General Bill Barr purposely deceived the American people on Trump’s behalf. Hayden agreed with my assertion that the president’s firing of Jeff Sessions, so as to make Barr’s appointment possible, is perhaps the most egregious thing Trump has done during the investigation.
- What is outlined in the Mueller report is enough to warrant Trump’s impeachment, but Hayden is resigned to the idea that the best course of action would be to forgo the impeachment process and vote him out of office in 2020.
- Hayden lambasts the “deep state” conspiracy — a wacky theory being pushed by Republicans and the “conservative” media desperate to nullify Mueller’s conclusions that the intelligence agencies were out to get Trump — as being “crazy,” and “just not possible.”
- He ominously concludes that the damage that Trump has done to our institutions so far can be survived, but that the United States, at least as we know it, may not be able to endure two terms of him as president.
All of the interview, in which Hayden gamely fights through his current medical impairment, is important and well worth a listen. You can hear all of it at one of these two links:
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