Former CIA chief now 'open' to idea of special prosecutor on Russia

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said he now has an "open mind" about the need for a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, following the events of the past week.

Hayden's Sunday remarks appeared to allude to President Trump's decision to fire FBI director James Comey. 

Hayden, who formerly oversaw NSA and CIA under George W. Bush, added that although special prosecutors cost a lot and can dig into matters beyond the focus of the investigation, one might be needed in this case.

“They lose control, they lose focus but I have to tell you: after the events of the past week I really have an open mind as to whether or not we need some extraordinary structure,” Hayden said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS."


Trump fired Comey amid an ongoing investigation into whether campaign officials colluded with the Russians to sway the election, allegations Trump has denied repeatedly. He also said the Russian investigation was not the reason for Comey's exit.

Comey’s dismissal, however, has added to the chorus of lawmaker calling for an independent body to carry on the probe.

Hayden said Trump’s administration appears to be obstructing the investigations into Russia.

“[I]t appears as though the administration is doing everything it can to either slow or discredit the various investigations with regards to the Russian interference in the American presidential election. So I think that’s a fair assessment as to what’s going on,” Hayden added.

He said the special investigator could resolve whether a crime was committed, as well as help paint a picture of what really happened. 

“Not just so we can get to the criminal resolution, was there, was there not a  crime, it’s so the American people fully understand the totality of what happened here,” he said.