Jared Kushner's attempt to set up back channel communications with the Russians during President Donald Trump's transition is "mind-boggling," former President Barack Obama's national security adviser and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said Sunday.
In an interview with ABC News' "This Week," Rice said the timing and method of the attempt was concerning – including his alleged proposing to the Russian ambassador "that they communicate using Russian communications in a Russian diplomatic facility to hide their conversation from the United States government."
"That's extraordinary, if not mind-boggling from the point of view of a national security professional," she said. "The United States – and from one administration to the next – has one government, one president at a time. . . . We worked very hard in this transition to accomplish that. And, to do so transparently."
She also declared she had no fears about documents being sought by the House Intelligence Committee on her unmasking of Americans while she was national security adviser.
"I'm confident that they show that I . . . [was] doing what we needed to do to do our jobs – to protect the American people, to protect classified information, to protect civil liberties," she said. "That's what those documents will show."
Rice also complained when Trump "failed to reaffirm" the United States remains committed to the defense of its NATO partners during his recent overseas trip, "he sent shock waves through Europe," saying that "is exactly what Vladimir Putin wants."
She also accused the Russian president Vladimir Putin of "lying" when he denied Moscow's interference in the 2016 election — and suggested rather than easing sanctions on Russia, "I think it's time to consider strengtening sanctions."
In addition, Rice refuted Trump's justifying his proposed "travel ban" in response to the Saturday night London terror attacks as "counter-productive."
"There's a very real risk that by stigmatizing and isolating Muslims from particular countries and Muslims in general that we alienate the very communities here in the United States whose cooperation we most need to detect and prevent these home-grown extremists from being able to carry out the attacks," she said.
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