Top Obama Admin Official Who Misled on Benghazi Says Trump’s ‘False Statements’ Endanger National Security

Susan Rice / Getty Images
• March 22, 2017 10:34 am


Former President Obama's national security adviser, who misled the public on what initiated the 2012 Benghazi attack, argued Tuesday that President Trump's "twisting of the truth" makes the United States less safe.

Susan Rice, who also served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post that "false statements" made by Trump are part of a "disturbing pattern of behavior" that could put U.S. national security at risk. She referenced the president's unproven accusation that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"These 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. "When a White House deliberately dissembles and serially contorts the facts, its actions pose a serious risk to America's global leadership, among friends and adversaries alike."

Rice herself has been criticized for not being truthful about national security matters. While serving in the Obama administration, Rice falsely claimed on several news networks that the 2012 terrorist attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi was prompted by an anti-Muslim YouTube video.

Rice told the American public that the attack, which killed four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, was a spontaneous uprising in response to the video. It has since been revealed that the assault on the consulate was a planned and coordinated attack by extremists unrelated to any video.

The State Department reaffirmed in June that an anti-Islamic video did not motivate the attack.

The report produced last year by the House Select Committee on Benghazi showed that the Obama administration believed the attack was a planned terrorist attack before Rice made her comments, the Washington Examiner noted Wednesday. The report also said that Rice was briefed by Obama's political team but not key intelligence agencies before appearing on television to discuss the Benghazi attack.

Rice concluded her op-ed by saying it is still possible to "return to the tradition" of telling the truth.

"Still, it is possible to mitigate the long-term effects of this vacation from veracity–if the White House and the president quickly and convincingly return to the tradition of endeavoring to tell the truth from the Oval Office and the White House briefing room," she wrote.