Condoleezza Rice, who served as America’s chief diplomat under President George W. Bush, could not have been more diplomatic when it came to critiquing President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning’s edition of The View.
Rice was ostensibly on the show to promote her new book Democracy, but naturally the hosts wanted her take on the biggest stories of the week. The worst thing she would say about ousted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is that he’s “gone.” She seemed to agree at one point with the president’s assessment of Kim Jong-un as a “smart cookie.” And as for Trump himself, Rice said, kindly, “We have a different kind of president.”
“He had never been in government before,” she added of Trump. “And when you haven’t been in government before, sometimes it looks kind of easy in there, until you get in there. And when he said, you know, this job’s a lot harder than I thought, I actually kind of felt bad for him, because it is a really hard job, and it’s a lonely job, and you want people around you who you trust.”
That line drew a major eyeroll from moderator Whoopi Goldberg. Rice was referring to comments Trump made in an interview with Reuters last month. “I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,” the president said. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
She went on to praise Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, saying, “They’ve done well.”
As much as Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin and the other co-hosts pushed, they could not get Rice to say anything negative about Tillerson or any other members of Trump’s cabinet. She said it “makes perfectly good sense” to look into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, but also indicated that she believes Vladimir Putin’s efforts to disrupt the U.S. election was inevitable.
“Vladimir Putin is an eye-for-an-eye kind of person,” she continued. “And we questioned — or Secretary Clinton questioned — the legitimacy of his election in 2012. Now he’s saying, I’m going to question the legitimacy of your election by hacking into it and so forth.” She urged Americans, “Don’t let him get the satisfaction that we don’t believe our own elections to be legitimate.”
“I trust the people who voted in Wisconsin and Texas and Alabama and California to have voted on the basis of who they thought was best going to represent their interests,” Rice added, completely dismissing the impact of Russia’s disinformation campaign. “So I’m not going to question the legitimacy of their vote because Vladimir Putin tried to interfere in the election.”
“Let’s trust our fellow citizens to have been smart enough to vote for the people they ought to have been voting for,” she said.
By the end of the segment, Behar had made Rice’s day by saying of Trump, “He made me love George Bush, I’ll tell you that.”
“I never thought I’d hear you say that, so thank you very, very much,” Rice replied. Perhaps that’s why she is acting so friendly and open-mindedly about Trump — he makes her old boss look good.