Tags: Trump Administration | condoleezza rice | trump | flynn | transition

Condoleezza Rice: I Met With Foreign Dignitaries During Bush's Transition

("CBS This Morning")

By    |   Monday, 08 May 2017 10:01 AM

It's not unusual for officials during a president-elect's transition period to meet with foreign dignitaries or ambassadors, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday, telling a television interview that she met with such people herself.

"We do need to understand what was going on before [President Donald Trump's] inauguration," Rice, who initially served as national security adviser to President George W. Bush, said during a "CBS This Morning" interview, just hours before former deputy Attorney General Sally Yates' testimony before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"There can only be one president at a time," Rice continued, but still, it's common for incoming officials to meet with foreign officials as the transition is taking place.

"I did myself, as well, as the national security adviser for George W. Bush," Rice continued. "But you can't discuss policy or suggest you might change policy."

Rice said that obviously, everyone is waiting to hear what Yates has to say, but she deferred to the subcommittee when it comes to the questions that the former Obama administration official will be asked.

The former secretary of state also discussed the ongoing situation with North Korea and its President Kim Jong Un, saying she agrees with Trump's contention that Kim is a "smart cookie."

"Let's be clear," she said. "He obviously knows what he's doing. The president of the United States can't meet with Kim Jong Un, certainly not under these circumstances. There may come a day, if North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons program and so on and so forth, and having North Korea back in the community of states or in the community of states would be worthwhile."

However, Rice also said she would not second-guess Kim, as she thinks he "is reckless and maybe even a little unhinged."

North Korea is "clearly" trying to send a message of power, said Rice, and they can "make the United States suffer. This is not a situation that any American president can tolerate. Something has to be done."

The United States also needs to change the calculation of the Chinese, said Rice.

"Right now they seem more worried about the potential collapse of the regime, and doing hard things to the regime, than about a nuclear North Korea," said Rice. "I think that's what the administration is trying to do, change the calculus so the Chinese see that if they don't deal with North Korea, we will."

Rice also on Monday called Emmanuel Macron's win as president of France "good news," as "no one who believed in globalization or centralism would have wanted Marine Le Pen to win."

Also on Monday, Rice commended Trump's national security team as being an "outstanding team, and that's very comforting."

"This is a president who's never been in government," she said. "I think it's taking them some time. It's hard in there. It's not as easy as it looks."

Rice said she also believes Trump is now "reacting to the presidency."

"No matter what they said when they were a candidate, when they're president, they say something different and do something different," said Rice. "I'm starting to see that evolution."

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It's not unusual for officials during a president-elect's transition period to meet with foreign dignitaries or ambassadors, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday, telling a television interview that she met with such people herself.
condoleezza rice, trump, flynn, transition
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2017-01-08
Monday, 08 May 2017 10:01 AM
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