Condoleezza Rice was quick to reject the idea that Russia “elected Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton” while promoting her new book on NBC’s “Today” show.
The former secretary of state was on hand Wednesday with Philip Zelikow, co-author of “To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth,” when NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie broached the subject.
“When you look at the 2016 election and you look at how, relatively speaking, it was decided by a handful of votes in a few states, do you think it’s possible that Russia’s election interference actually worked?” Ms. Guthrie asked. “It actually elected Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton?”
Ms. Rice responded by echoing the conclusion in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-report that there was no evidence of criminal behavior between President Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.
“I don’t think there’s any evidence of that,” she replied, the media watchdog NewsBusters reported. “And, you know, I really don’t think that’s a good conversation to have.”
She then drew attention to the millions of voters who cast a ballot in 2016 in key states.
“I think that really does devalue the people in Wisconsin and Michigan and others who decided to vote for President Trump,” Ms. Rice said. “Whether you like this president or not, whether you believe that he should have been president or not, let’s give the credit to the Americans who went out and voted for somebody who they thought would bring change.”
Ms. Rice said the psychology of Russian President Vladimir Putin boils down to a search for enemies to distract the population from internal problems.
“‘I need to find a way to dominate, I need to find a way to humiliate,’” she said of Mr. Putin’s psychology. “That’s just who he is. He has decided that Russia needs an enemy, and it’s the United States. And it’s part of his domestic strategy also to hold his country together at a time when the economy is suffering, when people are starting to get a little tired of his leadership.”
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