Nightly News   |  October 25, 2013

Acela traveler: ‘I can’t believe’ what Hayden said

During a trip on Amtrak’s Acela, former NSA director Michael Hayden had several phone conversations with journalists -- loud conversations. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> those interested in how spying works might begin by riding on the am the track high speed train between new york and washington. there is often a prominent passenger or two on board. there are often people talking too loudly on cell phones . yesterday they were one and the same. michael hayden used to run the cia and the nsa spy agency was the guy talking loudly enough on his cell phone and dropping names like the president's to be heard by those around him including a man who told the world what he was hearing from a few rows behind him. our report tonight from nbc's stephanie gosk.

>> i just ran into him on the train.

>> reporter: everyone who uses a cell phone in public needs to know something. you are louder than you think you are.

>> that's exactly it.

>> reporter: unfortunately for former nsa director michael hayden that realization came a train ride too late. on amtrak thursday hayden had several phone conversations with journalists, forgetting his library voice. tom massey was a few rows up.

>> i couldn't believe he was saying these things.

>> reporter: a former move on.org activist took to twitter. former nsa spy boss michael hayden on acela behind me blabbing on background as a former senior add min official. sounds defensive.

>> this guy used to be the head of the cia.

>> reporter: he tweeted again. michael hayden giving reporters disparjing quotes about administration. in a statement hayden said he was just providing robust political guidance. was he revealing secrets in your opinion?

>> no. i never said he's revealing national security secrets. he was gossiping. that's what i was tweeting about.

>> reporter: hayden 's cell phone rang and mattzie said, phone ringing. maybe somebody is telling him i'm here. do i hide? he didn't. in fact, hayden introduced himself. they snapped this harmonious-looking photo. in the process teaching everyone a valuable lesson. next time on a train, take the quiet car. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york.