Ex-CIA Chief Hayden Appears to Promote Execution for Leaking Nuclear Secrets

Ex-CIA Chief Hayden Appears to Promote Execution for Leaking Nuclear Secrets michael hayden gestures while speaking Former CIA and NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden delivers remarks on the nation's national security and alleged hacking and interference in the 2016 presidential and national elections, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 18, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty)

By Charlie McCarthy | Friday, 12 August 2022 07:46 AM EDT

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden made a comment on social media that seemed to promote execution for leakers of nuclear secrets.

A retired four-star general who also directed the National Security Agency, Hayden retweeted a post by historian Michael Beschloss, who shared a photo of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg with the comment, "Rosenbergs were convicted for giving U.S. nuclear secrets to Moscow, and were executed June 1953:"

"Sounds about right," Hayden tweeted Thursday night.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were American citizens convicted in 1951 of spying on behalf of the Soviet Union. The couple provided top-secret information that included valuable nuclear weapon designs. They were executed in 1953.

Hayden’s comment came three days after FBI agents raided the Florida home of former President Donald Trump.

Media reports have indicated that Monday's action took place likely after an informant provided the Justice Department with information that confidential documents remained at the former president's Florida residence. If true, that would be a violation of the Presidential Records Act and, if charged and convicted, Trump would be ineligible to serve in federal office again.

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