Former CIA Director Warns Donald Trump Jr. Is Promoting Autocracy
President Donald Trump's son Don Jr. told a group of conservative activists that an anti-Trump comment from a single FBI agent was evidence of "people at the highest levels of government that don’t want to let America be America.”
His comments indicate the autocratic right-wing take on the intelligence community that views such agencies as anti-American when their work isn't in the service of the sitting president's wishes.
Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former head of the CIA, commented at length on CNN about the disturbing nature of the younger Trump's comments.
“I have to confess when I first heard that this evening—it is scary. That is an appeal to the heart of autocracy and challenging the patriotism of the folks who work in the United States government,” Hayden said.
He added that "imperfect people" don't "undercut the legitimacy of these institutions."
"We’re now seeing a constant attack, not just from the president, but as was suggested just a few minutes ago, from other members of the party, attacking institutions of the American government," Hayden continued. "It’s those institutions, the rule of law, the processes that keep us a free people.”
Hayden expressed faith in American insitutions that are "pushing back" against the Trumps.
“That sound you hear from Washington is actually the sound of American institutions pushing back—whether the law enforcement, the courts, the press, American intelligence," he said. "[W]e have the NFL and Boy Scouts of America pushing back.”