Susan Rice: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Susan Rice (Getty)

Lawyers from the White House learned a month ago that former National Security Advisor Susan Rice was the person who wanted to unmask the people involved in intelligence reports that connect President Donald Trump‘s transition and campaign, Bloomberg reported.

Typically, the names Rice had sought to be ID’ed are redacted from reports. Rice’s “multiple” requests to unmask the people were received in February as part of an ongoing review. National Security Council senior director for intelligence Ezra Cohen-Watnick informed the White House General Counsel’s office of the requests from Rice.

The reports in question by Rice involved conversations that were being monitored between foreign officials about the Trump transition and also “direct contact” between members of Trump’s transition team and foreign officials that were being monitored.

Rice forcefully denied the unmasking claims April 4 in an interview with MSNBC, saying that it’s not unusual for a high-ranking national security official to request the names of people under surveillance in reports so that he or she can comprehend the context.


Susan Rice: 'I Leaked Nothing To Nobody' About Intelligence (Exclusive) | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBCFormer Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice is being accused of asking to "unmask" Trump aides in intelligence reports. She responds to the claim for the first time with NBC's Andrea Mitchell. » Subscribe to MSNBC: on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc About: MSNBC is the premier destination for in-depth analysis of daily headlines, insightful political commentary and informed perspectives.…2017-04-04T17:37:44.000Z

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Rice Served as Obama’s National Security Advisor From 2013-2017

Former President Barack Obama and National Security Adviser Susan Rice (Getty)

Rice served as the 24th National Security Advisor for four years (2013-2017) under then-President Barack Obama.

She was picked to succeed Tom Donilon almost immediately after he resigned from the position in June 2013 and was sworn in one month later on July 1, 2013.

Her time in the position saw her travel abroad extensively, including to Israel for meetings where she was held nuclear talks with Iran.

In 2015, Rice released an updated National Security Strategy — it previously was updated in 2010 — which said the nation was set to pursue an “ambitious” but “achievable agenda” overseas.

Some of Rice’s most notable remarks came in a speech in 2015 focused on relations between the U.S. and China. She spoke on record about the issues with Chinese hacking.

In his meetings with President Xi, President Obama has repeatedly made plain that state-sponsored, cyber-enabled economic espionage must stop. This isn’t a mild irritation. It is an economic and national security concern to the United States. It puts enormous strain on our bilateral relationship, and it is a critical factor in determining the future trajectory of U.S.-China ties. Cyber-enabled espionage that targets personal and corporate information for the economic gain of businesses undermines our long-term economic cooperation, and it needs to stop. So, we’ll continue to urge China to join us in promoting responsible norms of state behavior in cyberspace.

Prior to her time on the Obama administration, Rice worked as a for Michael Dukakis during his 1988 presidential campaign and worked for Bill Clinton’s first campaign in 1992.


2. Rice Has Been Outspoken About the Trump Administration

Susan Rice (Getty)

When Trump won the 2016 presidential election, Rice was critical of the administration and its makeup. She called Trump’s strategy to reshuffle the National Security Council “stone cold crazy,” mostly taking issue with the appointment of Steve Bannon as the chief strategist.

The New York Daily News reported that Rice was in disbelief at removing some of the council’s positions.

Chairman of Joint Chiefs and DNI treated as afterthoughts in Cabinet level principals meetings. And where is CIA?? Cut out of everything? This is stone cold crazy. After a week of crazy. Who needs military advice or intel to make policy on ISIL, Syria, Afghanistan, DPRK? Trump loves and trusts the military so much he just kicked them out of the National Security Council and put a Nazi in their place.

The comments prompted White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to fire back.

Spicer was asked about the remarks and said Rice’s comments were “clearly inappropriate language from a former ambassador. He told ABC’s This Week in January that Rice should quit commenting on the current administration.

When you talk about the missteps made by the last administration, with all due respect, I think Ambassador Rice might want to wait and see how we handle this, because I think so far they’ve got an expert team of folks that have come in to understand the national situation — our intelligence systems and how to modernize.


3. Rice Earned a Truman Scholarship & Graduated From Stanford & Oxford

Susan Rice (Getty)

Rice has an extensive background in education and policy.

Born in Washington D.C. on November 17, 1964, She earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and was the recipient of a Truman Scholarship at the school. She graduated with a degree in history in 1986 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

After Stanford, Rice and then went on to study at the University of Oxford’s New College in Oxfordshire, where her focus was on international affairs. She earned a Rhodes Scholarship prior to attending and earned her master’s in philosophy from the school in 1988 and her doctorate in 1990.

Her dissertation was titled Commonwealth Initiative in Zimbabwe, 1979-1980: Implication for International Peacekeeping.

For her successes, Rice was inducted into Stanford’s Black Alumni Hall of Fame in 2002.

Rice met her husband, ABC News producer Ian Officer Cameron, when they went to school at Stanford. The couple have two children together, Jake and Maris.


4. Rice Was Born In Washington D.C. to an Economics Professor & an Education Policy Scholar

Susan Rice (Getty)

Rice’s father, Emmett J. Rice, was an economics professor at Cornell University and was also the second-ever black governor of the Federal Reserve System.

Rice was appointed to the Board of Governors by President Jimmy Carter, and he helped to shape U.S. monetary policy and assisted in managing the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. He died in 2011.

Her mother, Lois Fitt Dickson is an education policy scholar at the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization. She joined BRookings in 1992 as the Miriam Carliner Guest Scholar in Economic Studies after previously being the vice president of the College Entrance Examination Board. In addition, she served on a bunch of corporate boards and councils, such as Firestone, McGraw Hill, Fleet Bank and more.


5. She Was a 3-Sport Athlete In High School & Was Nicknamed ‘Spo’

Susan Rice and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (Getty)

Prior to pursuing higher education, Rice was actively involved in her private girls’ day school, National Cathedral School in D.C.

She was the president of the student council and was her class valedictorian. In her time there, she earned the nickname “Spo” from her friends, short for “Sportin'” because of all the sports she was involved in. Rice played on the basketball team at the school as the point guard.

When she ultimately decided she was going to attend Stanford, her mother reportedly broke into tears, while her stepfather Alfred wasn’t fond of the decision either. They wanted her to attend their alma maters.



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