Susan Rice - Shaping America's Role on the World Stage

November 1, 2016 - Susan Rice 11/01/2016 Views: 1,951

White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice talks about her daily briefings with President Obama and weighs in on what kind of influence America should have abroad. (6:39)

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Please welcome,Ambassador Susan Rice.

-♪ -(cheering and applause)

Welcome to the show.

It's great to be here.Thank you so much.

It's really, really wonderfulto have you.

You have one of the mostfascinating jobs in the world.

Every day, you sit down with thepresident of the United States,

and you give hima security briefing.

Is there ever a day whereyou're just like, "We cool"?


Not that I can recall.

That's, uh... that's-that'squite a stressful job to have.

You're the bearer of bad newsevery single day.

You... We actually havea picture of the two of you

in the White House,'cause you guys

have a wonderful relationship,yourself and the president.

There you arethrowing a football.

-RICE: Look at that spiral.-That's a...

that's a great spiral.

That really isa good spiral there.

I... Is that, like, how you soften the blow?

Is that, like...How you thr... You-you throw,

and then you're like,"Mr. President, go long...

to Mosul, we're facinganother threat."

Is that, that, like, your thing?

No, not exactly.

Uh, you're in a world nowwhere, I mean,

I'm sure the briefingshave ramped up

because of many things happeningall over the world.

And your job is, obviously,to look at the external threats

a-affecting America.

-Now, you can't comment onthis election, -That's right.

-because you're preventedby the Hatch Act. -Exactly.

All right, so you--

Which is a wonderful placeto be in,

I can imagine for you.

Do you just like--do people ask you questions

and you just smile?

-I try.-(laughter)

-You've said enough.-(laughter)

With what's been happeningwith Russia,

Russia being linkedto the hacking of, uh,

you know, the United States.

Uh, them, reportedly,

trying to hack into the electionand so on.

Is that something that you haveto look to as a, uh,

as a genuine threat?

Well, certainly,we are concerned

as the intelligence communityhas put out

that there is strongevidence now, (clears throat)

that Russia has been,actually directly implicated

-in, uh, the hacking of,for example, the DNC, -Yeah.

or, uh, the DCCC.

And, we believe,trying to interfere

in our electoral process.

Having said that, uh,you've also heard

very senior officials...(clears throat)

Excuse me...make clear that, uh,

the integrity of ourelection process,

-we have great confidence in.-Yes.

That it is very difficultfor any actor--

nation-state actoror, uh, non-state actor--

to tamper with our voting system

in any meaningful way.

That's because our systemsare so decentralized.

They're at the stateand local level.

They're not connected to theInternet, our voting machines,

so we're not worried about

actual vote tamperingfrom the Russians.

But their, um, their interest ininfluencing people's perceptions

and stealing informationand utilizing it

is something of grave concern.

You have to travel the worldas well, I guess, you know,

going to other countries,making contact with them,

learning about these threatsfrom the world.

This is an election where--I know I've been traveling

and I've been hearingwhat people have been saying

about the... you know,what's happening in the U.S.

and how they feel.

Do you feel that,when you travel,

there is a certain levelof uncertainty

about the U.S. from the outside?

Well, the world is watchingthis election as intensely

as anybody here inthe United States because, um,

in a strange waythat we may not appreciate

sitting inside the U.S.,uh, they view the election

of the U.S. presidentas something

-they have a direct stake in.-Yes.

And so, uh, you know, we hearfrom our partners and friends

and even our adversaries, theirreactions to what's happened

in the context of this veryunusual campaign.

That's interesting when you sayyou hear from your adversaries.

How do you chatwith your adversaries?

Is that, like-like, you haveTwitter beef-type thing? Is...

-(laughter) -Oh, I'm fascinated.I want to... Like, how do you...

-That's a-that's an honestquestion. -We even actually talk

-to our adversaries.-You talk to your...

-Well, I mean... -Like, how doyou... Like, what is it...

-Is it... Yeah?-On the phone.

-And then what-what...-By e-mail.

-No, but I mean, like, whatdo the people say? -In person.

I don't talk to my adversaries,that's why I don't know

how you handle this. Do you-doyou... Are they, like, pleasant?

Do you say, like,"Have a nice day"

at the end of the callor do you just end it?

Well, remember, um,until about four years ago,

I was the U.S. ambassadorto the United Nations.

So I had to deal with countriesfrom all over the world.

Some that were, uh,close friends and partners

and some that were not.

And in-in every case,we actually do talk to, uh,

those that, even, we don't havediplomatic relations with.

So, uh, there was a time whenI had to engage, on occasion,

with Iran, long before we even

-were talking aboutthe nuclear deal. -Yes.

We work very closely with Chinaand Russia. Uh, which, uh,

can be difficultinterlocutors at times.

But we always talk.

Um, and we alwayshave to deal with the issues

that-that face us,even when we are

on opposing sidesof very important issues.

Y-You have many difficultdecisions that need to be made.

Like you said, you're gettingthe president's judgment,

you're giving him briefings.Uh, the world is in a place

where, obviously, due tothe rise of, uh, you know,

extremism, whether it be ISISor other forces--

certain decisionshave to be made by the U.S.

When does America decide

that it needs to actin a forceful manner?

When is that moment?

Well, first of all...(clears throat)

America can't affordto be isolationist.

We are the world leader,and the world looks to us

to-to play an important role.I think that the difficulty

or the challengeis what is the form

and the natureof our leadership?

It's not always the exerciseof military force.

In fact, that should besomething that we exercise, uh,

relatively rarely and when our

most core interestsare implicated.

But our diplomatic leadership,our economic leadership,

um, are thingsthat are critical.

And when challenges arise,the world looks to us, frankly,

to-to deal with them.

Where do you go from here?

Your life has consistedof waking up every day

and reading, basically, the mosthorrifying news of the world.

What do you...what do you do after this?

I know exactlywhere I go right after.

-I find the nicest beachI can possibly find. -(laughter)

-(applause) -In the mostremote part of the world

I can possibly find.

(applause and cheering)

With only my husband.

No kids. Just my husband.

-And no Blackberry. -'Cause yourkids are one of the threats?

-Is that what you're saying?-(laughter)

-No Blackberry, no kids.-No Blackberry, no iPhone.

-Just, uh, just chilling.-Well, you've earned it.

-And then I'll figure it out.-You've earned it.

Thank you so muchfor being here with us.

-Thank you so much.-Thank you so much.

Ambassador Susan Rice,everybody.