General Hayden won’t support Trump, refuses to endorse Clinton
By Kelly Thomas | August 4, 2016, 13:32 EDT
WASHINGTON, DC – Faced with the choice of Hillary Clinton or Donald J. Trump in the upcoming presidential election, the former director of the National Security Agency and the CIA has said he may not cast a ballot for president.
In a recent interview with MSNBC, Mike Hayden, a retired Air Force general who served as a top military intelligence official between 1999 and 2009, said he does not know if he can vote for either Trump or Clinton in November. Hayden is a Republican, but he has made no secret of his dislike of the GOP’s nominee.
Hayden warned of the power that is in the hands of the commander-in-chief. When it comes to issues of national security, the U.S. system was designed for “speed and decisiveness,” not checks and balances, he said. Hayden expressed concern that Trump is too erratic and inconsistent, which could jeopardize national security.
Hayden did add that his greatest concern was not “nuclear annihilation” if Trump is in the Oval Office, but rather a “crisis in civil military relationships” which could be brought on by the comments Trump has made that violate American and international laws of military conduct. Gen. John Allen has also voiced this concern, and subsequently threw his support behind Clinton on the final night of last week’s Democratic Convention, the MilitaryTimes reported.
Hayden stated in the MSNBC interview that there is very little Trump can do at this point to win his vote. In the past, he has stated Clinton would be a safer choice than Trump. Nevertheless, he is not prepared to announce his support for the Democratic nominee. Hayden maintained that, purely from a national security lens, one candidate is the better choice; however, he was quick to add, there are other issues at stake in this election that prevent him from publicly pledging his vote to Clinton.