Former CIA, NSA head: Trump's tough N. Korea talk 'could lead to great danger'

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, who served as both the director of the NSA and the CIA, said Monday that some of President Trump’s rhetoric on North Korea “could lead to great danger.”

“A very tough, but a very precise statement,” Hayden told CNN’s “New Day,” referring to the statement Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate nears surprise deal on short-term debt ceiling hike Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon chiefs to Congress: Don't default Pentagon chiefs say debt default could risk national security MORE made on Sunday after North Korea said that it successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb that can be placed on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

“Which is a little bit different than some of the things the president has been allowing himself to say, Alisyn, which have been very tough, but very imprecise, and that could lead to great danger,” Hayden told host Alisyn Camerota.

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Trump has received criticism over the last month for some of his rhetoric in regard to North Korea, specifically comments in which he warned that North Korea would face “fire and fury” should it continue to threaten the United States. 

“Secretary Mattis had very strong language, but it was about a North Korean threat, not a North Korean capability,” Hayden explained.

“In other words, Alisyn, I think he was trying to make a distinction between ‘we’re willing to pre-empt an imminent threat from North Korea but we’re not willing, it’s not our policy at least not yet, to conduct a preventive war to prevent the North Koreans from acquiring that kind of capability.”