Former CIA Director Michael Hayden says Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE is insulting the public by claiming President Obama “founded” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

“No. 1, he inflames the debate, and we don’t need the flame,” Hayden said Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "We need cold, rational discussion."


“No. 2, he insults his audience,” he added. "He goes to these code words to make a fairly valid point. Why does he do that?

“Does he not think that his audience could not accept the slightly more complex, slightly more reasoned message that this president made serious mistakes that led to the creation of ISIS? Why does he put it this way?”

Hayden said he agreed with the substance but not style of Trump’s criticism.

“Choosing those words corrupts the dialogue, corrupts what should be a very serious dialogue,” he said.

“The actions of the Obama administration in withdrawing from Iraq, going to zero ... actually set the conditions for the recovery of al Qaeda in Iraq, which then became ISIS. So there’s a powerful case to be made.”

Hayden said presidential candidates like Trump must choose their words carefully.

“A leader is supposed to elevate us. A leader, a president, should be appealing to the better angels of our nature, not our baser angels.”

Trump on Wednesday blamed Obama for creating ISIS with his foreign policy decisions.

“ISIS is honoring President Obama,” he said in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "He’s the founder of ISIS. He founded ISIS."

“I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats go all out to court young voters for 2020 Pelosi: Whistleblower complaint 'must be addressed immediately' Election meddling has become the new normal of US diplomacy MORE,” he added of the Democratic presidential nominee, Obama's first-term secretary of State.

Trump said withdrawing U.S. military forces from Iraq let ISIS flourish there.

“We should never gotten out the way we got out,” he said. "We unleashed terrible fury all over the Middle East."