Speaking with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, former Deputy National Security Advisor under President Barack Obama, Ben Rhodes, slammed Donald Trump for putting the national security of the United States at risk.
“Normal presidents start every day before they meet with people like me in the press office, they meet with people like you,” Wallace said to Rhodes. “They want to know threats about Americans…and the standard isn’t after the attack is successful. You failed if that’s when you walk into the Oval with intel. The standard is when you’re strategizing how to muster the forces diplomatically, militarily, and putting the president in as part of the national security team. To me, the buried lead here is Donald Trump isn’t part of protecting America’s national security.”
Rhodes explained that Obama would have been informed instantly even if the information was vague and could not be confirmed.
“It was not unusual that we would get briefed on threats to personnel,” he explained. “And what do you do, you immediately call your military commanders, your intelligence community, and you say, ‘What can we do to protect our troops in harm’s way.’ It is astonishing to me, Nicole, that the best defense that this White House can muster is that Donald Trump didn’t read his briefing when we’re not even just talking about the [Presidential Daily Briefing].”
Rhodes explained that in the reports, “the wire” is referenced, which is an intelligence report that goes to thousands of people.
“It makes reference to the fact that we have corroborations with financial transfers, it has reference to reports to allies,” he said of the report. “So, clearly thousands of people have consumed this information, think it’s important, think our troops’ lives may be in danger, and think, frankly, some troops may have been killed based on reports and Donald Trump is doing nothing other than calling this a hoax, lying about whether or not he received this information, and not, you know, being derelict, frankly, in his duty as commander in chief.”
He went on to call Trump a “threat to national security,” and to the lives of the American people.
“To walk people through it, we would come in the first meeting every day for President Obama was in the Oval Office, to review the Presidential Daily Briefing,” said Rhodes. “The assumption before we walked into the office is that we had all already read it. So, we actually didn’t have somebody come and read it aloud. We had somebody come and answer questions from us about the information to help inform what the president should do to follow up. And it is just astonishing to me here that you have an adversary of the United States, this is a bombshell piece of information, paying bounties on the heads of U.S. troops, that within minutes of getting that information, there was ant process set up to protect our troops.”
Take a look at his remarks in the video clip below: