This ain’t a partisan hack in a hack newspaper.
|Not to put too fine a point on it, but Susan Rice is a deeply unpopular figure with our Intelligence Community. Her abrasive personality and overall incompetence grated on the IC. Her habitually coarse language was inflicted on senior intelligence officials more than once, while nobody outside Obama’s inner circle considered Rice even marginally competent at her job. Simply put, she was the worst National Security Adviser in American history—at least until Mike Flynn’s dismally failed three-week tenure.
In addition, Rice didn’t like to play by the rules, including the top-secret ones. On multiple occasions, she asked the NSA to do things they regarded as unethical and perhaps illegal. When she was turned down—the NSA fears breaking laws for any White House, since they know they will be left holding the bag in the end—Rice kept pushing.
As a longtime NSA official who experienced Rice’s wrath more than once told me, “We tried to tell her to pound sand on some things, but it wasn’t allowed—we were always overruled.” On multiple occasions, Rice got top Agency leadership to approve things which NSA personnel on the front end of the spy business refused. This means there may be something Congress and the FBI need to investigate here.
Susan Rice and Team Trump are both despised by our intelligence agencies, albeit for different reasons. The prospect of a death-match between them is causing unusual emotions in the IC. “For us, this is like the Iran-Iraq war,” explained another longtime NSA official: “We’d like both sides to lose.”