Former CIA chief unsure Trump ‘has done the homework needed’ on North Korea

ABC News
ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said he is unsure President Trump has “done the homework needed” for negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear program.

“Kim Jong Un knows his program inside and out,” Hayden told ABC News Global Correspondent and This Week Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday. “I think he knows what he can concede and what it means and what he cannot concede.”

“I don’t know that the president has done the kind of homework that would allow him to do this” in negotiations, said Hayden, who headed the CIA under presidents George W. Bush and Obama, and who also served as director of the National Security Agency under both Bush and President Clinton.

Hayden said he hopes any summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “stays at the level of principles” rather than delving into specifics. “They talk about denuclearization, allow each side to kind of cower within the ambiguity of denuclearization, and then seriously begin a process that makes the peninsula less dangerous than it is today.”

The former intelligence official also discussed his concern that demanding that North Korea entirely give up its nuclear program could end “in a very bad place.”

Hayden said he agrees with Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s comment during his earlier appearance on This Week Sunday that Kim Jong Un is not going to denuclearize.

“I totally agree with Sen. Rubio,” Hayden said. “These folks are not going to get rid of all their nuclear weapons. And if President Trump’s ‘brand’ — and that’s the right word here — going into this meeting demands something like that, this is going to end up in a very bad place.”

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