Susan Rice on Russia bounties: Trump doing arch-adversarys bidding – Business Insider
Former national security adviser Susan Rice on Sunday said the Trump administration’s narrative on the Russia bounty plot doesn’t add up.
“I don’t buy this story that [Trump] was never briefed,” Rice, who served as former President Barack Obama’s adviser from 2013–2017, said in an interview with Andrea Mitchell on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“We have a president who is doing our arch-adversary’s bidding,” Rice said. “And he is surrounded by sycophants and weaklings who aren’t doing their jobs.”
Russia allegedly paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill US troops in Afghanistan. The White House has claimed Trump was never briefed on the intelligence, but recent reporting suggests otherwise.
Trump was briefed on the intelligence by Bolton in March 2019, according to a recent Associated Press report, and the intel on the suspected Russian bounty plot was also reportedly included in the president’s written daily briefing in late February this year.
The intelligence on the plot was gleaned from interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals, according to reporting from The New York Times, which was bolstered by electronic data intercepted by American officials showing large financial transfers between Russia’s military intelligence agency and a Taliban-linked account. The White House has not taken any known responses to the alleged Russian plot.
Trump has suggested the intelligence is “Fake News,” even though the White House last week said the president has now been “fully briefed” on the matter. The administration has also been briefing members of Congress on the intelligence.
Along these lines, Mitchell on Sunday asked Rice why Trump did not raise the matter with Putin during six phone calls that took place after February 27, when the intelligence was reportedly included in the president’s daily written briefing.
“None of this adds up,” Rice said. “We have a president who is doing our arch adversary’s bidding, it would seem. And he is surrounded by sycophants and weaklings who aren’t doing their jobs.”
Rice said the president’s advisers don’t have the confidence to “bring the president the tough messages he needs to hear.”