Following a stroke, former CIA chief General Michael Hayden returns to CNN

On Friday night, General Michael Hayden made his return to television, doing an interview with anchor Don Lemon on CNN Tonight, detailing his recovery from his stroke he had in November. Hayden, 73, is a former director of the CIA and NSA under Presidents Bush and Obama and a CNN national security analyst.

Hayden is a fierce Trump critic.

In his return to CNN, he told Lemon, “It’s awful. It’s awful,” referring to President Trump’s comments he would listen if a foreign government approached him with damaging information about a political rival — and he wouldn’t necessarily report the contact to the FBI.

He recounted to Lemon the experience of crawling to his wife, Jeanine, for help. During the stroke, Hayden said, “everything was a blur.” Hayden said the stroke didn’t damage his higher-level processing.

“I am grateful that the stroke did not take my ability to understand and process and that my higher-level thinking was not affected. I am grateful my memory is strong,” Hayden wrote in a piece for CNN in May.

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