Former CIA and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden delivered a strong rebuke to President Trump's allegations -- without presenting evidence -- that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower in the lead-up to the election.
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“President Obama could not have directed this,” Hayden, who was appointed by President George W. Bush to lead the CIA in 2006, told ABC’s Rick Klein and Jonathan Karl on the “Powerhouse Politics” podcast.
President Trump ignited a firestorm of controversy after he tweeted early Saturday morning: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism”.
“I suspect that even if it did happen – and there’s an 'if' in there,” Hayden said, referring to the alleged wiretapping, “[President Obama] would not have been made aware of it.”
Hayden, who also served as NSA Director from 1999 to 2005, said he has a high regard for current FBI Director James Comey, adding that with President Trump’s latest accusations, “we are off the map here in terms of normal governmental activity."
Pushing back on accusations from some in the White House that most of the leaks and controversies surrounding the current administration are coming from Obama-era officials, Hayden said, “there aren’t any Obama dead-enders in [the intelligence community], there aren’t any deep-staters in there.”
He also warned the Trump Administration that it may lose some intelligence professionals if the feud between the White House and the intelligence community continues.
Hayden, who authored the 2016 book “Playing to the Edge”, which he says is his “best effort to show to the American people what their intelligence services actually do on their behalf” also said there is, “no way to stop leaks” in any administration.
President Obama, through a spokesperson, has denied that he or any official in his White House ordered any wiretapping of President Trump during the 2016 election.