Former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden attracted a backlash on social media after he retweeted a combination image that equated Donald Trump's supporters with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The news was first reported by Fox News.
On Thursday, Hayden retweeted a split image. At the top was an Islamic extremist in black, waving a gun and a flag from a row of cars, with the caption "Their Taliban." Below that was a row of pickup trucks carrying the American flag and the "Trump 2020" flag, with the caption "Our Taliban."
Michael Vincent Hayden is a retired United States Air Force four-star general and former Director of the National Security Agency. In addition to leading the CIA and NSA, he was the country's first principal deputy director of National Intelligence. In 2017, Hayden became a national security analyst for CNN.
Hayden's tweet comes days after Taliban took control of Kabul. The chaos and desperate scenes are continuing at Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US troops.
Social Media Reactions
Many on social media expressed their disapproval over the retweet by Hayden. One Twitter user wrote, "This Gen. needs to be fired for his prejudices against the American People." Another wrote, "Michael Hayden, sir, you are wrong, gravely wrong. "Thou shalt not bear false witness"! No one should be compared to them."
Some netizens commented on CIA and said there is no respect left for the agency as all the top officers are corrupt and criminals. One internet user said, "The CIA believes they are above the law and there is nothing in their behavior (historically) that indicates they are accountable to We The People. They are a disgrace."
Some netizens said Hayden is suffering from aphasia and hence he retweeted such a kind of image. In an interview with National Public Radio, Hayden said that he is dealing with aphasia, a condition which makes it difficult to communicate. He told NPR, "I have aphasia from a stroke. Aphasia means I have trouble understanding you, reading, writing and speaking. It is a medical condition. I am intelligent but need some help with language. This can be frustrating for me."
On the other hand, few people felt that Hayden is right in his observation and said Trump supporters are actually worse than the Taliban.