Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said in an interview that aired Friday on “Rising” that President Trump is due the same respect that has been given to his predecessors amid increased tensions between Trump and some former government officials.

“Just in questions of style, I don’t refer to the fellow down the street with anything other than ‘the president.’ I never just use his last name without the title,” Hayden told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton, who previously worked for Hayden in the CIA, on Thursday.

“I do think that the office and the occupant, the current occupant of the office, deserves the respect that is due [to] any American president,” he continued. 

{mosads}Hayden’s comments come as tensions have increased between the president and former government officials, including Hayden, who have publicly criticized Trump. 

The White House announced last week that Trump was revoking former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance for using his status as a former government official to make “unfounded and outrageous” comments about the administration.

Brennan hit back at the move, calling it an “abuse of power.”

Trump said he is also reviewing access to classified information for several former intelligence officials who have publicly criticized him, including Hayden. 

The former CIA director said that while many of Trump’s actions in the presidency have been unprecedented, former officials should proceed with caution while criticizing him in public.

“This is the most norm-busting president in the history of the United States. There are no norms that seem to bind him. None that he is not willing to cross or break for his personal, policy, or political needs of the moment,” Hayden said. “I think it’s what frightens people like me.”

“We have got to be very, very careful because if we break our own norms in protesting the president’s violation of norms, we’re not making things better,” he said.

— Julia Manchester

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