President Donald Trump has suffered from the learning curve and realization of the constraints of the job that any new president encounters, especially since he had no government experience, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday.
However, she gave the Trump administration high marks for its policy towards North Korea, saying, "I think they're doing as well as anybody could; this is just a really hard problem. I think they are trying to incentivize the Chinese to change their view of this. The Chinese have always been more worried about the collapse of the regime than a nuclear North Korea."
Rice, who served in the administration of George W. Bush and has been making media appearances to promote her new book, stressed that "no American president is going to let a reckless, slightly unhinged North Korean leader get a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States."
When asked on NBC's "Today" show about her thoughts on the Trump administration reportedly considering sending a significant increase in American troops to Afghanistan to bolster the fight against the Taliban, Rice replied: "I'd certainly urge the president to look at how we can turn the tide in Afghanistan… to have a government that's stable in Kabul that can't be assaulted by the Taliban."
But she cautioned against that any troop increase would have to be part of a broader long-term plan.
"What is the strategy now?" Rice said. "It doesn't make sense to increase troop strength to keep doing the same thing."
Rice, who is an expert on Russia, told "Morning Joe" that Russian President Vladimir Putin is gaining "tremendous satisfaction" from watching Americans tear apart our own system.
She explained that part of the reason for his interference in the U.S. presidential election was to get back at Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for her questioning, while serving as secretary of state, the legitimacy of his own election in 2012.
"He is an eye-for-an-eye kind of person," Rice said of Putin. "Now, he's going to show us that he can question or he can throw doubt about the legitimacy of our elections."
Rice, who is currently a professor at Stanford University, said that in order to preserve democracy, Americans must once again find faith in national institutions and learn to listen to each other.
She said she tells her students that "if you sit in a room with people who say amen to everything you say, then find other company, because when you then encounter people who think differently you think they are… stupid."
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