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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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December 11th, 2014
05:01 PM ET

Ex-CIA director slams torture report, defends rectal rehydration as a 'medical procedure'

(CNN) – In a heated interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" former CIA Director Michael Hayden slammed the recently released torture report, and dismissed any notion he lied Congress.

"You've got to be kidding," Hayden said in response to Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein's charge that he misled Congress. "I'm the one who argued within the administration, frankly, with the strong support of the president in 2006 during the summer that ... we had to go full monty to the committees."

When presented with the conclusion that the tactic of "rectal rehydration" detailed in the report was abusive, Hayden defended the practice.

"That was a medical procedure because of detainee health. The people that are responsible there for the health of these detainees saw that they were becoming dehydrated," said the former CIA chief.

"I'm not a doctor and neither are you," Hayden told CNN's Jake Tapper. "This is one of the ways that the body is rehydrated."

Highlighting the procedure is indicative of how poorly the report was put together, he says.

"This activity, which was done five times and each time for the health of the detainee, not part of the interrogation program, not to soften him up for any questioning. The committee, the Democrats on the committee have used one-half a**ed, unwarranted comment in one e-mail to justify the story that you have now bought hook, line and sinker that we use this to abuse other human beings," a fiery Hayden said.

The CIA has acknowledged abuses, and the report says that rectal rehydration. was unnecessary and was forced.

But Hayden disagrees.

"The report referring to one e-mail with one very bad taste comment has used that comment to make this judgment," he said.

For more of our heated interview with former CIA Director Michael Hayden, watch the video above.

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