Former CIA Directors Slam Trump’s Conspiracy Theories

The president's attacks on the U.S. intelligence community have cast CIA and FBI leaders into the unprecedented role of public “truth tellers.”
Former Central Intelligence Agency Director Gen. Michael Hayden, who served under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, is interviewed for the documentary, "The Spymasters," about CIA Directors for CBS/Showtime.
PER_Spytalk_01_596293833 Source: David Hume Kennerly/Getty

A few months into the Trump administration, former CIA Director Michael Hayden took a reconnaissance mission of sorts to Pittsburgh, where he grew up in a blue-collar, Roman Catholic family and worked summers in Steelers training camps. He’d asked his brother to gather a couple dozen people to talk politics in a sports bar “over some Iron City beer,” a local brew.

“I knew many of the participants, indeed had grown up with several,” Hayden writes in his troubling and important new book, The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age. “But we could have been from different planets.” Virtually everyone in the crowd, he recalls, were supporters of the erratic New York business mogul who had improbably won election and moved into the White House a few months earlier. “He is an American,” they would say. “He is genuine.... He is authentic.... He doesn’t filter everything or parse every word.”

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Newsweek

Newsweek8 min readMedical
America’s Finest
ABOVE AVERAGE FOR INFECTION PREVENTION 1 UAB Hospital BIRMINGHAM 2 Fayette Medical Center FAYETTE 3 Clay County Hospital ASHLAND 4 East Alabama Medical Center OPELIKA 1 Mayo Clinic - Phoenix PHOENIX 2 Banner University Medical Center Tucson TUCSON 3
Newsweek2 min read
Jodie Foster
JODIE FOSTER HASN’T MADE MANY POLITICAL FILMS BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT SO entertaining to her. “Everybody is born and then they die. There’s nothing new about that.” But all that changed for the Oscar-winner with her latest film The Mauritanian (in theate
Newsweek8 min readPolitics
The Exhausted Americans
“And now what? What does citizenship mean now?” P.16 IF PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN WANTS TO HEAL THE divisions in U.S. politics, he needs to stop all this talk about “unity” and instead focus the attention of all Americans on a common foe: toxic polarizatio