Democrats blast Hayden's 'emotional' comment about Feinstein
April 7th, 2014
05:26 PM ET
9 years 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.”

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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. ED1

    The truth continues to hurt the Democrats.

    April 7, 2014 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  2. Military4America

    You're going to have to explain, Rick McDaniel. Your post makes zero sense.

    April 7, 2014 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  3. S. B. Stein

    It is inappropriate for Hayden to talk about a member of Congress like that. It is more like he is showing his lack of consideration of a woman. He would never have said this about a man.

    April 7, 2014 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  4. smith

    good to see democrats standing together to fight the republican war on women. Vote midterm

    April 7, 2014 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I would like see harry, nancy, obama fired!

    April 7, 2014 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  6. Doug

    Gen Hayden, Pres W Bush, Rice, VP Cheney & others s/b tried for war crimes. But it won't happen.

    April 7, 2014 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  7. Ken Scott

    Funny, but Gen. Hayden's response sounds pretty emotional, too.

    @Rick McDaniel – that's just plain silly. Dems spout the same crap, and it's just as over the top as your "they will bring this country down" ... "...silence any and all who disagree with them...".

    Quit with the rhetoric, okay. If you have something to say besides partisan fluff, then let's hear it. Name-calling and chicken-little talk doesn't advance your position.

    April 8, 2014 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  8. Pedro!

    Lets watch the video before we decide!!

    April 8, 2014 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  9. anthny76

    @Rick McDaniel
    "bring down this country" yada yada, sky is falling.
    2 unfunded wars and one 24 billion dollar gov shutdown later....Dems are still waiting in line behind the Repubs to start bringing the country down, right?

    April 8, 2014 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  10. Anonymous

    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!!

    There is no war on women. It is smoke and mirrors to deflect away from jobs, the economy, and foreign affairs.

    April 8, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  11. hkirwin

    Women are waking up and moving away from the left. This smacks desperation to bring them back.

    April 8, 2014 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
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