Former CIA director: Putin has sought to influence Trump through ego
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought influence with President Trump through Trump’s ego.
Hayden, during an interview on CNN, discussed how he believes the Russians are trying to handle Trump, saying that Putin has gone “out of his way to praise President Trump.”
“We’ve got this little pneumonic that we use, MICE: Money, ideology, compromise and ego,” Hayden said of the operatives in the intelligence community.
“And if I’m looking at those four approaches, if I’m the Russians looking at Donald Trump, I don’t know that I would instinctively go to compromise.”
Hayden said he believes it is “awfully hard to embarrass” Trump, noting that the president “blew right through” the release just before the election of the “Access Hollywood” tape where Trump was heard making disparaging remarks about women.
“If I was going to try to work to influence our president if I were a Russian, I think I’d go to ego,” he said.
“And we have seen — we have seen Putin go out of his way to praise President Trump.”
He also drew comparisons between the two leaders.
“I’m talking about a kindred spirit between the president of the United States and the president of Russia when it comes toward a trend toward autocracy, the strong man, that kind of approach to governance,” he said.
“I really do think there’s a convergence in terms of how President Trump would like to govern and how President Putin does govern.”
The comments come after Trump on Wednesday sought to defend his decision to congratulate Putin on his reelection.
Trump noted Wednesday that former President Obama also called to congratulated Putin after his 2012 election victory and said it is a “good thing” for the U.S. to have warm relations with Russia.