Michael Hayden, a former CIA director who served under President George W. Bush, warned on Thursday that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s foreign policy would be “destructive,” but he asserted that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton could be stronger against terrorism than the current administration.
During an interview on CBS This Morning, Hayden said that lone wolf terrorist attacks like the recent massacre at an Orlando night club should not be considered a failure of the Obama administration.
“The great fear we had is we had the ability to take a tactical defeat over here on our part,” he explained. “And by the way we responded, turn it into a strategic success for al Qaeda.”
Hayden, who has been critical of Democrats in the past, pointed out that “some of the language that Mr. Trump used after the attack — some things were bad, don’t get me wrong, that were in effect a tactical success for our enemy. But in the language he has used to describe them, he has elevated them to this realm that they can claim strategic success.”
Without “disowning” the enhanced interrogation techniques used under President Bush, Hayden insisted that the CIA would never use waterboarding again even if Trump became the commander-in-chief.
CBS host Charlie Rose noted that some national security experts had said “that they cannot support Donald Trump.”
“I am one of those,” Hayden volunteered. “What evidence I have of his thinking about foreign policy things suggests courses of action that I think would be destructive for our country, our allies and the world.”
However, Hayden gave Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy high marks.
“In that lane, she’s fine,” he opined. “In many ways — in my view — in that lane, I think she might be a little stronger than the current president.”
Watch the video below from CBS News, broadcast June 30, 2016.
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