Susan Rice Questions if Trump Has 'Presence of Mind' to Execute 'High Risk' Meeting With Kim Jong Un

March 9, 2018

Former Obama administration official Susan Rice on Friday questioned President Donald Trump's ability to successfully execute a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and she warned an unsuccessful meeting could increase the risk of conflict.

MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell–in response to an announcement that Trump will meet with Kim in the coming months–said to Rice that while the United States doesn't necessarily have a strategy for negotiations for an upcoming meeting, North Korea does.

"What is the downside, if there is this big-flags-waving, red carpet summit and then no results?" Mitchell asked the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and national security adviser.

"I think it's very risky," Rice said. "It risks the president's credibility, the credibility of the United States, and worse still, I think it increases the risk of conflict if they go into something with very high expectations, poor preparation, and the president acting in his typically mercurial way."

"We could end up in a much worse place then we are today," Rice warned.

Rice said there are steps that could be taken to make the meeting productive, but she expressed caution in describing the meeting as "high risk" and commenting that Trump "may not have the temperament" to execute a successful meeting.

"I do think this is high risk if executed in the typical Trumpian fashion," Rice said.

"If, however, the president has the presence of mind and the confidence in his team to allow this to be done responsibly and effectively, then I think it's worth attempting and the downsides can be potentially mitigated," Rice added.