Former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden on Friday called the possibility of impeaching President Trump “a bad idea.”
Speaking with Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton, Hayden expressed a preference for Americans to vote as a way to “move beyond this.”
“I think impeachment would be a bad idea,” said Hayden after making it clear he was speaking as a “citizen,” and not a former government employee.
“If President Trump is somehow forced to leave office before the end of his first term, one-third of America — and a lot of them are my friends — will believe it was a soft coup conducted by people, well frankly like everybody here at the table would be their view,” Hayden continued, adding that “the only way we move beyond this in any way that’s healthy for our democracy is we vote.”
Hayden, a frequent critic of the president, expressed his belief that the office and President Trump “deserves the respect that is due to an American president” and that critics should be careful not to make things worse.
“I do think the office and the current occupant of the office deserves the respect that is due to any American president, but you bring up the tremendous challenge,” he said. “This is the most norm-busting president in the history of the United States. There are no norms that seem to bind him, none that he is not willing to cross or break for his personal policy or political needs at the moment, and that is what frightens people like me. In pushing back against that, we are always tempted to break our own norms against pushing back against the most norm busting president.”
“We’re not making things better. We’re adding to the damage.”