Count former CIA and NSA boss Michael V. Hayden among those top former U.S. intelligence officials who’d be happy to have President Trump revoke their security clearances, too.
Mr. Hayden made the remarks Sunday on CNN when asked by host Jake Tapper whether he agreed with a column written late last week by retired Adm. William McRaven blasting Mr. Trump for revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director John O. Brennan.
Adm. McRaven said he “would consider it an honor” to lose his clearance alongside Mr. Brennan “so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.”
Mr. Tapper asked Mr. Hayden on Sunday’s “State of the Union” program whether he would be “similarly honored” to have his status ended.
“Well, to be included in that group? Sure,” he said, going on to name an even more specific reason that Mr. Trump ought to revoke his clearance.
“Frankly, if his not revoking my clearance gave the impression that I somehow moved my commentary in a direction more acceptable to the White House, I would find that very disappointing and frankly unacceptable,” said Mr. Hayden, who has frequently been critical of Mr. Trump on CNN and other networks.
Mr. Hayden was director of the National Security Agency under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and served as CIA director under both Mr. Bush and President Barack Obama.
Mr. Hayden was among more than a dozen former intelligence officials who released a joint statement Thursday night calling Mr. Trump’s revocation of Mr. Brennan’s security clearance “ill-considered” and merely a reflection of political differences.
• Victor Morton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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