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Fmr. CIA chief Gen. Hayden: Biden should start getting daily presidential intel brief ‘Now’

Then-Vice President Joe Biden speaks to troops at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. (Staff Sergeant Charles Larkin Sr./U.S. Air Force)
November 07, 2020

On Friday, retired U.S. Air Force general and former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden said Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden should start receiving the daily presidential intelligence briefing. Hayden’s comments came a day before several news outlets called the presidential race for Biden.

Hayden tweeted, “Joe Biden should receive the president’s intelligence briefing every day. Now.”

The President’s Daily Brief is a daily intelligence brief presented to the president and a small number of top officials. President-elects typically do begin receiving the President’s Daily Brief during the transition period into office before their inauguration.

Hayden’s Friday call for Biden to start receiving the presidential intelligence briefing came before Biden had been projected by any news outlets as the winner of the 2020 election. On Saturday morning, the Associated Press, CNN, Fox News and ABC called the race for Biden, with the outlets declaring he won Pennylsvania and its 20 electoral votes, carrying him over the 270 electoral vote threshold. With the outlets declaring Biden’s win, he appears set to become the 46th U.S. president, though President Donald Trump has continued to raise legal challenges over the race.

Minutes before his Friday call for Biden to receive the presidential intelligence brief, Hayden also retweeted a cover of the German magazine Der Spiegel, which showed a political cartoon called “der hausbesetzer” or “The Squatter” and depicted Trump as being barricaded in the White House with a shotgun. Hayden tweeted, “I’m afraid so.”

In the summer of 2018, Trump had reportedly considered Hayden among a list of retired intelligence community officials who he felt should lose their security clearances. Then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the retired intelligence officers “politicized and in some cases actually monetized their public service and their security clearances in making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia” and that their security clearances provide “inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence,” made against Trump.

Trump ultimately moved to revoke the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan.

In August of 2018, Hayden joined a letter with 11 other former CIA directors and one national intelligence director, criticizing Trump’s decision to take away Brennan’s clearance.

“We feel compelled to respond in the wake of the ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions by the White House,” the officials wrote at the time. “We know John to be an enormously talented, capable and patriotic individual who devoted his entire adult life to the service of this nation.”

In September, with about a month and a half before Election Day, Hayden joined another open-letter with nearly 500 other retired national security officials, endorsing Biden for the presidency.