Democrats blast Hayden's 'emotional' comment about Feinstein
April 7th, 2014
05:26 PM ET
6 months ago

Democrats blast Hayden's 'emotional' comment about Feinstein

(CNN) – Senate Democrats on Monday blasted former CIA Director Michael Hayden for charging that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein was motivated by “deep emotional feeling” when she approved a report critical of the CIA’s harsh treatment of detainees after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“Gen. Hayden condescendingly accused Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein of being too emotional,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a floor speech. “She has been fearless. She has been thorough and fair. And for this man to say that because she criticizes tactics led by Gen. Hayden - that was torture - she is being too emotional? I don’t think so.”

Reid’s vocal support for Feinstein, one of the most senior women in the Senate, came on the same day Democrats began debating an issue that appeals to women –paycheck fairness legislation that supporters say would even the income gap between men and women.

The legislation, which is opposed by most Republicans, is a key part of the Democrats’ political agenda this election year. They are in danger of losing control of the Senate and want to motivate women voters to go to the polls.

“Does this sound like a person or party that respects women?” Reid asked.

Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat from Colorado who is up for re-election and sits on the Intelligence Committee, issued a statement calling Hayden’s remark a “baseless smear” that was “beyond the pale.”

“I highly doubt he would call a male chairman too ‘emotional,’” said Udall.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, called Hayden's comments "outrageous."

"General Hayden unfortunately has a long history of misleading the American public – he did it on domestic surveillance when he was the head of the NSA, and he did it on torture when he was the CIA Director," the senator said in a statement.

In a television interview Sunday with Chris Wallace of Fox News, Hayden, who was CIA Director from 2006-09, cited a column about the CIA report written by David Ignatius of The Washington Post.

“He said Senator Feinstein wanted a report so scathing that it would ensure that an un-American brutal program of detention would never again be considered or permitted,” Hayden said. “Now, that sentence, that motivation for this report, Chris, may show deep emotional feeling on the part of the senator. But I don’t think it leads you to an objective report.”

Last week, the Intelligence Committee voted to have the report declassified and released to the public. It’s not clear how long that will take.


Filed under: CIA • Dianne Feinstein • Michael Hayden
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. The REAL Truth...

    The GOP continues it's war on women.. now accusing one of the opposite party of being too emotional. Desperation rules, eh? Get a platform. get a program, get some ideas, get a candidate!!

    April 7, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    The Dems never face reality. I seriously doubt they have any ability to assess reality. All they know, is to silence, any and all, who disagree with them, and their ideology. They will, bring this country down........and it isn't going to take much more, to make that a reality.

    April 7, 2014 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    the only emotion GOP women show is no emotion. they are Stepford wives who bake cookies, make coffee and tend to their owners needs.

    April 7, 2014 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    No woman or man that cares about this country should sit at home this November and allow the Senate to slip into Republican control.
    You'd have to be an idiot, a masochist, and the worst type of patriot to allow that to happen.
    Get out there and vote this November or you'll wake up to your worst nightmare come true.

    April 7, 2014 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    @rick, who is trying to take over bodies and minds? I don't think it's the Democrats.
    Wake up and step out of the bubble every so often for some air!

    April 7, 2014 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    Why didn't Gen.Hayden object when ordered for weatherboarding? Where did his intelligence go? This is total nonsense. This nation is so hugely divided by republican cult. Was it not Bush fault? Nonsense. Sack all these thugs from jobs. Very pathetic.

    April 7, 2014 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Abbey

    Democrats are showing their true colors.........yellow, and are just a bunch of whining hypocrites in this story. In spite of what the Democrats say, this is not about women.

    April 7, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. Grahame Rhodes

    Ah Rick... Doomsday eh? GOP fear tactics. If you can't beat them with honesty then try character assassination. GOP playbook rule 256.

    April 7, 2014 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. Bill

    Poor libs; they call everyone else every name in the book, but when one is told that she is emotional rather than rational, it's a war on women. What a joke!

    April 7, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Chris-E...al

    No news any move by the cia or anyone to keep this nation safe an strong is looked at by dems as wrong or weakness ! I Dont get it man nations have been fighting since the clovis age as sad as it is but sometimes you have to kill or be killed ! Had'nt you ever heard money cant buy love . I think dems are really trying to kill us at ever turn ! Ever front !

    April 7, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. SoCal

    Let's face the military isn't stellar about woman and how to treat them. Ask Petraius

    April 7, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. Tom l

    @the real truth,
    Let's not have facts get in the way of your little talking point but I must point out to the rest that General Hayden is not a politician...

    April 7, 2014 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  13. John Q

    In a statement, Sen. Sanders said, “What the Supreme Court did in Citizens United is to tell billionaires like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, ‘You own and control Wall Street. You own and control coal companies. You own and control oil companies. Now, for a very small percentage of your wealth, we’re going to give you the opportunity to own and control the United States government.’ That is the essence of what Citizens United is all about. That is why this disastrous decision must be reversed.”

    April 7, 2014 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. penguin

    McDaniel is trying to silence any and all who disagrees with his conservative viewpoint and ideology. The Republicans willk bring down this country and it isn't going to take much of their no tax increase, anti-women venom, demonization of immigrants, and desire to have health insurance only for the wealthy for them to destroy our great nation

    April 7, 2014 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. king

    i think the repubs are desperate, they've been predicting and rooting against this country for the past 5 years. they've threatened to recede from our union more than i can count, yet they are the ones running around with signs shouting freedom, and liberty. lesson folks, i side with McCain some of the times when it come to brute force of protecting our country, but Obama is more finace and he gets results without the mass casualties. i happens to side with feinstein, because i dont think the most powerful country on this earth for the past half a century, should stoop to a third world levels when they try to get information from our enemies. our country have too much resources to allow themselves to look bad in front of countries that are looking up to us, and expecting us to lead them through the moral path.

    April 7, 2014 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. Alan S.

    The GOP are critical of Women, who in their minds should be seen and not heard, stay-at-home moms who let the men do the voting for them and their thinking too! While the GOP praises individuals in its ranks that are clearly sociopaths and are a real danger to us all.

    April 7, 2014 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  17. destroyerofeconomies

    They've dropped the war on women thing because it was kunda idiotic.

    April 7, 2014 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  18. McBob79

    Awesome! And likely very true.

    April 7, 2014 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  19. J Anthony

    both sides see the other as not living in reality. How do you break that barrier, when people can't agree whatt reality is anymore? Of all things to not have a consensus on...

    April 7, 2014 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. kay

    Hayden nothing but a fox flunky and Channey puppet.

    April 7, 2014 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. Garth

    Feinstejn the hypocrite.

    April 7, 2014 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. Kate

    Sen Feinstein has been on the gravy train too long-time to get off. i agree w/Hayden

    April 7, 2014 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  23. don in albuquerque

    It won't be a week before he announces he either misspoke, or the classic "If I offended anyone, I apologize (but not really)." If and when Hillary decides to run get used to this kind of attack. And from the CIA, the real people who gave you Benghazi. But then what should the world expect when the good ole USA committed the greatest act of terrorism the universe has even seen by needlessly dropping two atomic bombs on Japan. You know after WWII we hung several Japanese who had waterboarded Americans.

    April 7, 2014 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  24. Ken

    Unfortunately, that's the way of life in the governmental body that represents the citizens! He is picking up where other Congressmen left off.

    April 7, 2014 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  25. Michael

    And exactly who is it that the democrats are silencing? I won't hold my breadth for a post responsive to this question, since it is a typical tactic by anti-American, Obama hating republicans to make statements without any facts to support them. It's a requirement to be part of the (republican) club.

    April 7, 2014 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
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