Hayden Shoots Down Schumer’s Saudi Arabia Claim

Former CIA director says 'of course' Democratic leader knows Trump hotels have nothing to do with travel ban list

by Jim Stinson | Updated 16 Mar 2017 at 12:51 PM

The former director of the CIA flatly dismissed an incendiary claim by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that President Donald Trump may have left Saudi Arabia out of a travel-restriction ban “because he had hotels there.”

“The six nations on the list [Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia] don’t have governments,” said Hayden Thursday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.” “And Saudi Arabia does indeed have a government.”

“Saudi Arabia wasn’t on the list. Now, there’s speculation. I don’t know if it’s true or not, he didn’t put Saudi on the list because he had hotels there. Come clean.”

Hayden said his experience working with Saudi security services was an “unmitigated success,” and that the Saudis often cooperate and work in conjunction with the United States.

Hayden said the second executive order on travel restrictions from Muslim-majority nations was a big improvement over Trump’s first order, made on Jan. 27. Hayden doesn’t support the travel orders, but he was eager to brush off Schumer’s smear.

Schumer made the remarks on Wednesday during an interview on “Special Report with Bret Baier” on Fox News.

"The seven countries on that list, Saudi Arabia, which had more terrorists come into the U.S., including the ones — 15 of the 19, I think, who were involved in the World Trade Center [attacks of Sept. 11]," said Schumer. "Saudi Arabia wasn't on the list. Now, there's speculation. I don't know if it's true or not, he didn't put Saudi [Arabia] on the list because he had hotels there. Come clean."

Hayden dismissed the notion Schumer could credibly suggest he doesn't know if the hotels could be a factor in Saudi Arabia not making the list.

The former CIA director said the Senate Democratic leader "of course" knows the nation has the capacity to vet its citizens and doesn't belong in a group with the troubled nations included in the immigration order.

Over-the-top attacks are becoming something of a pattern for Democrats in the Trump era. Despite having a plethora of opportunities to bash Republicans on health care, taxes, or real problems that may arise from the immigration restrictions, the Democrats only see opportunity in calumny.

And as for Trump's businesses — especially his ties to foreign nations — they just can't quit the topic.

  1. Chuck Schumer
  2. CIA
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Executive Order
  5. Michael Hayden
  6. Saudi Arabia
  7. trump travel ban
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