Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice pushed back Wednesday against President Donald Trump’s claim that he was wiretapped by the Obama administration during the 2016 election.
“Nothing of the sort occurred,” Rice told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff, in her first interview since stepping down as national security adviser when President Barack Obama left office.
Rice also took aim at the Trump White House in a Washington Post op-ed Wednesday. “False statements from the White House are part of a disturbing pattern of behavior that poses real and potentially profound dangers to U.S. national security,” Rice wrote.
In the PBS NewsHour interview, Rice, who served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during Obama’s first term, said the world was watching Trump’s presidency closely.
“I think the world is not impervious to what happens here in the United States,” Rice said. “On the contrary, they watch it very, very carefully.”
Her remarks came shortly after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) met with Trump at the White House to discuss the panel’s investigation into Russia’s influence on last year’s presidential race.
Nunes told reporters after the meeting that Trump and some of his campaign officials were the subjects of ‘incidental collection’ during legal U.S. surveillance efforts of foreign targets in the months following the election.
Congressional Democrats criticized Nunes’ decision to meet with Trump. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the meeting raised doubts about the House Intelligence chairman’s ability to conduct an independent investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Rice also responded to Trump’s claims that the Obama administration failed to weaken ISIS.
“I think the facts don’t bear that out,” Rice said. She argued that since ISIS reached its peak in 2014, the group has lost control of 60 percent of the land it occupied in Iraq, and 30 percent of its territory in Syria.