The former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency has said that the only viable Presidential candidate in his eyes is Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Gen. Michael Hayden, the architect and overseer of the NSA’s most intrusive spy programs endorsed Kasich in a statement, even though the candidate cannot mathematically win the nomination, and even trails some who are no longer in the race in terms of delegates.
“Gov. John Kasich, who served 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee, is the one candidate in the entire field with the best experience, expertise and leadership skills required to be commander in chief,” Hayden said in a statement.
“Gov. Kasich has serious proposals to strengthen our military, defeat ISIS and stand up for freedom around the world — proposals that rise far above bumper-stickers and amateur rhetoric.” the statement continued.
Hayden would naturally not be a supporter of Ted Cruz, given that Texas Senator’s previous sponsorship of legislation to reign in the powers of the intelligence community.
Kasich has taken a more stand-off position on government surveillance, saying that civil liberties concerns should be balanced with those of national security.
In February, Hayden also slammed Donald Trump on foreign policy, saying that the military would have to disobey Trump if he followed through on certain campaign promises as president.
Referring to Trump’s suggestion to torture suspected terrorists and their families, Hayden told TV host Bill Maher, “If he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act.”
Hayden also commented on Trump’s condemnation of the Bush administration for not doing more to act on pre-9/11 intelligence warnings.
Hayden stated that there were “good enough” warnings from the intelligence community about a coming terror attack in the months before 9/11, but that no action was taken for political reasons.
“Even if we had the data to be more specific, which we didn’t, what’s the politically acceptable mechanism that George Bush does? If he imposes a TSA thing on August 15th, what’s the attitude of the American people? What are you…? He actually may have caused more harm.” Hayden, who was in charge of the NSA when 9/11 happened, said in response to a question on Trump’s comments.