Former National Security Agency (NSA) director Michael Hayden warned against impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE in an interview that aired Friday on "Rising." 

“I think impeachment would be a bad idea," Hayden, who frequently criticizes the president, told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball on Thursday. 

"If President Trump is somehow forced to leave office before the end of his first term, one-third of America will believe it was a soft coup conducted by people, well frankly like everybody here at the table would be their view," he continued.

“I think the only way we move beyond this in any way that’s healthy for our democracy is we vote," he said. 

The issue of impeachment took center stage this week after Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen told a judge on Tuesday that he broke campaign finance laws at the direction of "a candidate for federal office," alleging coordination with then-candidate Trump.

Some Democrats said the development bolsters the case for impeachment if Democrats take back the House in November's midterm elections. 

“It does cause the countdown to impeachment to accelerate,” Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) told The Hill on Wednesday. 

However, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday that impeachment would not be a priority for Democrats in the wake of Cohen's guilty plea.
 
"Impeachment has to spring from something else," Pelosi said. "If and when the information emerges about that, we’ll see." 
 
"It’s not a priority on the agenda going forward unless something else comes forward," she added. 
 

— Julia Manchester