Former CIA and NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden said Tuesday there was “no body of evidence” for President Trump to make the claim that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps of his phones during the election.
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“What was claimed is inconsistent with the way I know the system works,” Hayden told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto.
According to Hayden, the president hasn’t had the authority to order a wiretap since the 1970s. Instead, the request would need to go through a court, he said.
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
Since the president took office, the White House has been plagued with intel leaks. Hayden, who took over as CIA director in May 2006, said he faced a similar issue.
"One of the biggest problems we had was leaks. And my first speech to the workforce was: ‘this is stopping. We are out of this as source or subject,’” Hayden said, adding that he does not believe people within the intelligence community should immediately be blamed.
“I would not automatically assume that the source of this are intel people, even when the data being leaked is intelligence,” he said.
Furthermore, Hayden offered advice to the administration, based on his past experience.
“My tool though wasn’t a vendetta, wasn’t an investigation, wasn’t beating people up,” he said. “My tool was openness within the agency, so that people actually felt they had a place in which their views were valued. I’d suggest that approach for the administration.”
He added: “What you’ve got is a situation that we as Americans have to agree is really bad. We cannot have the permanent government at war with the incoming administration. Both sides need to step back, take a breath.”