Pompeo Responds to Susan Rice's 'Crazy' Talk: 'She Has a History of...Lying'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2020 | 6:16am EDT
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - "To hear Ambassador Rice talk that way, it's just crazy," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday, following Rice's Sunday appearance on "Meet the Press," where she blasted the Trump administration for "incompetence" regarding raw intelligence that Russia paid the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan.

In her Sunday appearance, Rice acted as though the unverified intelligence about Russian bounties was factual. "The message to Vladimir Putin is you can kill American service men and women with absolute impunity," she said.

"You know, she has a history of going on Sunday shows and lying," Pompeo told Fox News's Laura Ingraham:

You'll all remember that back in 2012 she went on five Sunday shows -- and Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods had all perished under her administration's watch in Benghazi, Libya. She went out and made up a story about a video and a protest when she knew full well that this was a terror attack.

She did so because it was politically convenient to say that. It's the worst kind of behavior from a national security leader. And as for her comments about Russia, it was on the Obama watch, under the Susan Rice watch, under Vice President Biden's watch that Ukraine had one fifth of its real estate taken by Vladimir Putin with virtually no response.

It was under her watch that Syria was handed over to the Russians as the result of a red line that Obama had drawn in the sand but then refused to enforce.

And you'll recall, too, when it comes to having American soldiers taken care of -- what she suggests this administration didn't do, but does always -- it was her administration that was underwriting the Iranian regime while it was killing American soldiers in the Middle East.

Listen, that was an administration that didn't care about our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines and certainly didn't act in a way that was securing the American national interest.

Pompeo said members of the Trump administration make sure the president has all the information he needs to make sound national security decisions.

"And with respect to this particular issue in Afghanistan, I can assure every one of your viewers that this administration acted in a way to protect every American who was serving in Afghanistan.

“We have fought the Taliban harder than the previous administration ever dreamed about fighting them, and now president trump is going to protect our soldiers by working to get a peace and reconciliation deal that allows them to come home.”

Following the leak about Russian bounties to The New York Times, CIA Director Gina Haspel on June 29 issued a statement saying that initial intelligence reports "often require additional collection and validation." She indicated that the CIA was still collecting information to find out if the Russian bounty intelligence was reliable enough to bring to the president's attention.

But Susan Rice told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, "You don't wait until you have 100 percent certainty -- you tell the commander-in-chief what he needs to know, when he needs to know it."

"Look, I was national security adviser, I can tell the American people with certainty that we don't ever, or very, very rarely, have 100 percent certainty. And that's not what we're aiming for. We, in this business of protecting the American people and our servicemen and women, have to do so often with imperfect information."

Rice called the Trump administration's response to the uncorroborated intelligence about Russian bounties "a clown show."

“That's not how intelligence works,” Rice continued:

And that's not how the national security adviser and the top cabinet-level officials who were there to support the president are supposed to behave. They are supposed to be on top of information like this. They are supposed to run it to the ground. It shouldn't be months or years before we figure out whether something of this significance is actually something we take seriously.

In fact, the intelligence community did take it seriously. We know that, because it was written in the president's daily briefing, the most important and exclusive product of the intelligence community. The president didn't read it.

And what's extraordinary is that the people around him didn't bring it to his attention, allegedly...None of this adds up.

And if, in fact, the president is surrounded by such cowards and incompetence that even when he's trying to trying to invite Putin to the G7 and has these six phone calls, nobody has the guts to say to the president of the United States, Mr. President, we still, I want to remind you, have credible intelligence that the Russians are trying to kill U.S. servicemen and women in Afghanistan.

This is not the time to be handing Putin an olive branch. This is the time to be working at options to punish him. And yet, that's not what happened.

So, you know, this is really extraordinary. We have a president who's doing our arch adversary's bidding, it would seem, and he's surrounded by sycophants and weaklings who aren't doing their jobs, who don't have the confidence in themselves and in the mission that they are there to carry out, to bring the president the tough messages he needs to hear.

Andrea, that's the job of the national security advisor. It's not an easy job. Often, you have to walk in and tell the president of the United States what he doesn't want to hear and then own responsibility for bringing back to the president options for dealing with that bad news. That's the essence of the job.

Susan Rice is now being mentioned as a possible, if not probable, running mate for Joe Biden.

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