February 2, 2017 5:17 pm
Updated: February 5, 2017 11:06 am

Former NSA/CIA director: Trump’s travel ban an ‘abomination’

Former CIA and National Security Agency Director General (Ret’d) Michael Hayden tells Vassy Kapelos the new immigration ban in the United States increases the odds that something bad will happen because it plays into the jihadist narrative.


The former head of the NSA and CIA says an executive order on immigration signed by President Donald Trump last week is “an abomination,” and it won’t make America or its allies any safer.

(Ret’d) Gen. Michael Hayden, in Ottawa on Thursday for the Disaster Proofing Canada event hosted by Carleton University, sat down with Global News’s Vassy Kapelos to discuss the new Trump administration and what it might mean for the world. Hayden was one of the most prominent critics of Trump’s run for the presidency.

WATCH: Former head of C.I.A. has dire warning for President Trump. Vassy Kapelos reports.

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Asked about the executive order, which limits travel to America for nationals of seven different predominantly Muslim countries, Hayden said Trump based his actions on two assumptions.

READ MORE: Canadian permanent residents exempt from Trump’s travel ban

The first is that there is “an imminent and almost apocalyptic threat coming from green-card holders, visa holders and refugees,” he explained, and the second is that the current system for screening new arrivals to the United States is woefully insufficient.

“Neither of those are true,” said Hayden, adding that from a humanitarian perspective, the order is simply “an abomination.”

WATCH: Donald Trump defends travel ban during speech at National Prayer Breakfast

Trump has defended his actions in spite of days of protests and confusion at American airports, saying the ban will keep America safe from terror. The order restricts immigration from the seven Middle Eastern countries, suspends all refugee admission for 120 days, and blocks all Syrian refugees indefinitely.

According to the retired four-star general, Trump’s attempts to solve a non-existent problem have actually created more serious security issues.

WATCH: Former NSA and CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden says President Trump’s travel ban feeds into the ‘jihadist narrative’

“The jihadist narrative is that there’s undying enmity between Islam and … the West, Christianity, the crusader and so on,'” he said.

“What we did this past week lifts their narrative. It is consistent with their story.”

That makes it harder for moderate Muslims to resist calls to extremism, and it makes it easier for groups like the so-called Islamic State to recruit new members.

“There’s no one I know of my background, who’s actually done this for a living, who doesn’t agree,” said Hayden, noting that his goal is not to condemn the president.

“It increases the odds that bad things will happen abroad and at home.”

Watch the full interview with Gen. Michael Hayden on this Sunday’s West Block, airing on Global News at 11 a.m. ET.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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