- The Washington Times - Friday, October 25, 2013

A former political reporter who happened to overhear an off-record telephone conservation between the ex-director of the NSA while they traveled on a train out of Washington, D.C., did what any reputable spy would: He listened closer and tweeted the talk.

Former NSA director Michael Hayden was on an Acela train Thursday and supplying “background” information to reporters — meaning, his quotes are usable but not attributable — in a telephone conference call. Tom Matzzie, who used to write for Huffington Post on topics of politics, was sitting nearby, and couldn’t help but overhear the talk — especially the part where Mr. Hayden bashed President Obama and his administration, The Daily Mail reported.

So he started tweeting.

“Michael Hayden on Acela giving reporters disparaging quotes about admin,” Mr. Matzzie tweeted, at one point, adding the hashtag, #exNSAneedsadayjob, The Daily Mail reported.

He also tweeted: “Former NSA spy boss Michael Hayden on Acela behind me blabbing ‘on background as a former senior admin official.’ Sounds defensive.” And another: “On Acela: Hayden’s comments to press were clearly about NSA spying on foreign allies.”

Mr. Hayden busted out the prying ex-reporter a few minutes later — but kept humor. The two posed for a picture together on Mr. Matzzie’s phone — which the former journalist then tweeted with the title, “Win.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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