Ex-CIA chief: I'm laughing at Trump

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden on Tuesday said he was among those "laughing at" President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' Marie Yovanovitch on Vindman retirement: He 'deserved better than this. Our country deserved better than this' Trump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' MORE following blowback to his comments about Russia's election interference during a press conference this week.

Trump has been roundly criticized in Washington over his refusal to denounce Russian meddling in the 2016 election while appearing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin during a joint press conference in Helsinki on Monday.


On Tuesday, Trump sought to walk back his widely-criticized comments, saying he agreed with the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the election. But he also said that "other people" could have also been involved, a statement echoing past remarks casting doubt on Russia's role.

“The sentence should have been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,'" Trump said while reading from a prepared statement at the White House. "Sort of a double negative. So you can put that in, and I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.”

The comment was quickly seized on by many members of the media and public officials. Washington Post columnist Max Boot tweeted that the world is laughing at Trump for what he called the "silliest spin ever."

"I'm not laughing," Hayden sarcastically said while quoting Boot's tweet. "Oh, hell. YES I AM." 

Hayden, who served as CIA director under former presidents George W. Bush and Obama, has been a vocal Trump critic and said earlier this year he believes there is a "convergence" of interests between Trump and Russia.

During his remarks on Tuesday, Trump said he accepts the findings of the U.S. intelligence community regarding Russian interference in the most recent presidential election. 

“I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place,” Trump stated. “Could be other people also. A lot of people out there.”

The comments came a day after many Republican and Democratic lawmakers condemned his press conference with Putin as "shameful" and a "disgrace." 

In addition to Hayden, former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanGraham postpones Russia probe subpoena vote as tensions boil over GOP votes to give chairman authority to subpoena Obama officials Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony MORE forcefully criticized Trump's actions in Finland.

Brennan tweeted on Monday that Trump's rhetoric was "nothing short of treasonous" and urged members of his administration to resign. Trump responded by calling Brennan a "very bad person."