Susan Rice tears into Trump for 'brushing off information' critical to troops' 'life and death' because he can't hear bad news
Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice (Photo: Screen capture)

On CNN Wednesday, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice ripped President Donald Trump for ignoring intelligence on Russian bounties against American troops.

"My job was to brief the president, to bring to the president all that he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear," said Rice. "When I served President Obama, he would sometimes joke that I and others who brought bad news were the 'doomsday people,' but he always listened to what we had to say and he never conveyed the impression that news was too bad to be worthy of him hearing. You don't intimidate the messengers ... this president is derelict in his duty, brushing off information that is critical to the life and death of our service members and does so because he doesn't want to hear bad news."

"Is there any reason that you can see to justify not raising intelligence like this directly to the commander in chief?" asked anchor Jim Sciutto.

"There is absolutely no reason, Jim," said Rice. "When it comes to our men and women in uniform, in a war zone, in harm's way, and one of our arch-adversaries, in this case Russia, escalating their hostility towards the United States by actively paying Taliban terrorists to kill our forces, I would have walked into the Oval Office as soon as I saw that information and if it were raw and unverified, I would have said, Mr. President, we have immediately here some very troubling information that the Russians are paying the Taliban to kill our forces. I'm going to run this to the ground. I'm going to work with the intelligence community to figure out how strong it is. In the meantime, we're going to work on options for you to respond appropriately to Russia and we'll get back to you when we know more."

"Let me just say, I don't believe that they didn't tell him," added Rice. "I'll bet a dime to a dollar that ... John Bolton did just that and walked into the Oval Office and told him what he needed to hear. I think they're obscuring that. Prevented him from talking about it in his book, and now those around him who don't have the backbone that Bolton had probably were too scared to tell him when it was put again in the Presidents' Daily Briefing. This is a top intelligence product. Everything in that is meant for the president's eyes. He doesn't read it. The National Security Advisor has the obligation to make sure he at least knows what's in it."

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