Former CIA director: Trump’s latest comments ‘just made things worse’
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Former CIA Director Michael Hayden on Wednesday said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpAdvisor: Sanders could beat Trump in Texas Bloomberg rips Sanders over Castro comments What coronavirus teaches us for preventing the next big bio threat MORE's efforts to smooth over his own remarks from a Monday news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin only "made things worse" for the U.S. leader.


Trump on Tuesday sought to walk back his widely criticized remarks from a press conference with Putin a day earlier, saying he accepts the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

"If that press op that you just showed the president having yesterday was supposed to set things right with the intelligence community, Alisyn, it just made things worse," Hayden, who left the CIA in 2009, said to host Alisyn Camerota on CNN's "New Day."

"All that showed was that once again the president of the United States will say anything that he believes will suit his needs for the precise moment in which he is located," he added. "It is not anchored on anything outside of himself and his immediate needs."

Trump stirred controversy with the Monday news conference after he challenged the U.S. intelligence community's assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election and appeared to place blame on Washington for current tensions with Moscow.

Facing blistering criticism from both sides of the aisle for his remarks, Trump reversed course on Tuesday, asserting that he had misspoken when he said a day earlier that he did not see any reason why Russia would interfere in the election.

"My people came to me,” he said at the Monday news conference. "They said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin — he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be."

Instead, he claimed Tuesday, he meant to say that he did not see any reason why Russia "wouldn't" meddle in the race.

"The sentence should have been, 'I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,' " Trump said. "Sort of a double negative."

But Hayden argued that Trump "walked back the walk-back" on Tuesday when he also said that "other people" could still be involved in meddling in the 2016 election — a comment that appeared to undercut his own claim that he believed the intelligence community's assessment that Russia was responsible.

"What you had was, frankly, a hostage video with the president under duress saying what he had to say to meet the needs of the people who, off camera, were making demands," Hayden said.