PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Michael Hayden, a former Director of the CIA and the NSA, dismissed claims from President Donald Trump that the Obama administration illegally wiretapped his communications but laid out a scenario in which Trump or someone from his campaign team may have been caught up in a surveillance operation during an interview with Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.
“If you take what the president said as a native English speaker in it’s common English usage, that never happened. There is one element out there, now the story is turning to, and this is a possibility that, in the normal, and I underscore normal, pursuit of born intelligence or law enforcement information, you’re up on a legitimate target, say a Russian oligarch, let’s say, who you are targeting because he is involved in money laundering. If that oligarch talks to an American business man on 5th Avenue, let’s say, and he’s affiliated with the Trump campaign, the intercept continues,” Hayden said.
Hayden also weighed in on a case where he thought an investigation did cross the line, a Department of Justice case that targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen.
“With James, it’s a matter of public record. The FBI, because James had a source in the State Department that they were trying to pin a leak on, and at the end of the day, they did and they sentenced the man to a year in prison, they went and got the telephone records, not the voice, not the intercepts, but the pattern of calls for James and, I think, members of his extended family, which is a fairly heavy handed, almost unprecedented approach to what was a straight forward leak investigation,” he said.