Appearing Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice said she was “quite confident” that the Trump administration did not follow the “normal protocol” of informing President Barack Obama about the weekend killing of Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
A partial transcript is as follows:
MARGARET BRENNAN: What is your reaction to the death of al-Baghdadi?
SUSAN RICE: Obviously, it’s a major milestone and it’s one we all should be welcoming quite plainly, but it doesn’t mean that the fight against ISIS is over. And it doesn’t mean that we can declare mission accomplished and just walk away. What we’ve seen time and time again in this part of the world is that when the pressure is relieved on terrorist organizations, whether al-Qaeda or ISIS, they are able to reconstitute. So we need to be vigilant. We need to maintain a minimal presence in order to ensure that the pressure stays on ISIS and they don’t come back roaring.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Was President Obama informed of the death of al-Baghdadi by the administration? Did you know before the news today?
RICE: No, there’s no reason why I should know. There is a tradition of common courtesy of presidents informing their predecessors of things of significance like this. Since the White House seemingly didn’t feel it necessary to inform the leadership of the intelligence committees on a bipartisan basis, I’m quite confident that they didn’t do the normal protocol with respect to predecessors either.