Former National Security Agency (NSA) director Gen. Michael Hayden (Ret.) was hospitalized this week after suffering a stroke, according to his namesake center.
“The Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security on behalf of Jeanine C. Hayden and the Hayden family regrets to inform that General Michael V. Hayden (USAF-Retired) was hospitalized earlier this week after suffering a stroke while at his home,” a spokesperson for The Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security said in a statement. “He is receiving expert medical care for which the family is grateful.
Hayden served in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations and retired as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2009.
Hayden, a frequent critic of the current administration, taunted President Donald Trump following revocation of former CIA chief John Brennan’s security clearance, saying it would be an “honor” if his access was also pulled. In March, Hayden told CNN New Day that he sensed President Trump envies the autocratic leadership style of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
“He actually admires the way Putin does business. He — you know, in his heart of hearts, he may look at what happened yesterday in the Russian Federation and have a certain sense, why can’t I give speeches like that?” the former intelligence officer said. “Why can’t I do those kinds of things? I think there is a bit of autocrat envy, in terms of the president’s attitudes towards the President of the Russian Federation.”
While no fan of the president, Hayden has warned against impeaching Trump, warning the move would be viewed as a soft coup. “If President Trump is somehow forced to leave office before the end of his first term, one-third of America will believe it was a soft coup conducted by people, well frankly like everybody here at the table would be their view,” Hayden told The Hill. “I think the only way we move beyond this in any way that’s healthy for our democracy is we vote,”