Obama national security adviser Susan E. Rice said Tuesday that she is “rooting hard” for retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who will serve in the same key role for President-elect Donald Trump.
“While it’s no secret that this administration has profound disagreements with the next one, I intend to make myself available to him, just as my predecessors have for me,” Ms. Rice said. “We are all patriots first and foremost. Threats to our security and democracy should be above partisanship.”
Speaking at a transition conference at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, Ms. Rice referred to a note that President George H.W. Bush wrote to incoming President Bill Clinton upon their transfer of power in 1993. Mr. Bush wrote, “Your success is now our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.”
“General Flynn, I am rooting hard for you,” Ms. Rice said.
Serving at the NSC director since 2013, after her role with the administration’s infamous Benghazi “talking points,” Ms. Rice said she has worked hard to “right-size and reform” the agency that often rivals the Pentagon and intelligence agencies in influence with the president on national-security matters.
“We’ve reduced the staff by over 15 percent,” she said. “Today’s NSC operates with a policy staff smaller than the staffs of USIP and many other think tanks.”
The size of the NSC has risen in recent years to more than 400 employees, and some career staffers reportedly have been trying to leave for other agencies as the new administration takes over.
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