Condoleezza Rice calls Putin's interference in election 'personal'

Rice called the Russian president "an eye-for-an-eye kind of person."

ByABC News
May 9, 2017, 3:02 PM

— -- Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told "The View" on Tuesday that she will not question the legitimacy of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and believes Russian PresidentVladimir Putin's interference was "personal."

"I think it was personal. He likes to intimidate," Rice said of his possible reasons for interfering. She called him "an eye-for-an-eye kind of person."

Rice, who was George W. Bush's national security adviser during his first term before serving as his secretary of state, suggested that Putin may have interfered because Hillary Clinton questioned his 2012 electoral victory.

"Now he's saying, 'I'm going to question the legitimacy of your election by hacking into it' and so forth," Rice said.

Rice urged Americans not to be rattled by Putin's actions.

"Don't let him get the satisfaction of thinking we don't believe our own elections to be legitimate," she said.

"What you can't do is be intimidated by Putin or let him play these psychological games," Rice added. "I'm not going to question the legitimacy of their vote because Vladimir Putin tried to interfere in the elections. Let's trust our fellow citizens to have been smart enough to vote for the people they thought they ought to be voting for."

Rice weighed in on warnings that then-President Barack Obama and others in his administration gave Donald Trump about his choice for national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Flynn's ties to Russia.

Flynn was fired after his ties to Russian officials came to light. Rice said Americans should be "comforted" by Trump's choice to replace him.

"H.R. McMaster is as good as you can do for national security adviser," Rice said of Flynn's replacement. "I actually think this is a really good national security team. We have a different kind of president, all right?"

She criticized Flynn's conversations about sanctions with the Russian ambassador, which took place before Trump was inaugurated.

"As a matter of principle, you can talk to anybody in that period, but you should never suggest that you might be making policy and maybe they should just wait until there's a change in administration. The principle is you wouldn't do that," Rice said.

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