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The Interview

Ex-CIA director 'very worried' by prospect of Trump presidency

Former CIA director Michael Hayden is one of 50 national security experts who served in Republican administrations and recently signed a letter saying that Donald Trump would be the most reckless president in American history. He spoke to our Washington correspondent Philip Crowther to express his concern at the prospect of a Trump presidency.

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"International affairs should not just be viewed as zero-sum games, and that seems to be the way that [Trump] views everything in the universe, including international diplomacy, security alliances and so on," General Hayden told FRANCE 24. "These are very complicated issues, and to go into those issues with the belief that they're simple and 'I alone can solve them', actually could be very destructive," he added.

Donald Trump "is the face of authoritarian populism inside the current American political system", he said, adding that "Vladimir Putin is the global poster child for authoritarian populism."

As to the fate of Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who leaked thousands of classified documents on the NSA's surveillance programme, General Hayden dismisses the idea of a presidential pardon and insists that Snowden "put American lives at risk". 

He concludes by defending the Obama administration's failure to close Guantanamo Bay prison, saying that some of the detainees are "forever prisoners" who “are never going to be released and are never going to be tried". "Closing the facility doesn’t make the problem go away," he said.

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