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Susan Rice: Trump’s ‘mixed messages’ are confusing allies

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Susan Rice, a former national security adviser in the Obama administration, said Sunday President Trump is sending “mixed messages” on foreign policy, leaving our allies “uncertain” where the U.S. stands.

“[A] number of our closest friends and allies are feeling uncertain, off-balance, unclear as to where we stand and what we mean,” Rice said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

“The United States, Fareed, is supposed to be the grown-up at the dinner table. We’re not supposed to be the crazy aunt in the attic that nobody knows what is going to do next,” she added.


Rice said the administration needs to put South Korea and Japan at ease, as North Korea becomes more hostile.

“We need to reassure and secure our allies, particularly South Korea and Japan, who feel most directly threatened by North Korea,” she told Zakaria.

Rice said Trump is sending “very mixed messages” about defending South Korea. She cited the president’s reversal on the THAAD system, calling for South Korea to pay for the missile defense system.

“The deal was they provide the land and the installation and we would provide the system in its operation. So this is created, along with the miscue on the aircraft carrier, a great deal of unease in South Korea at a time when we ought to be providing reassurance,” Rice said.

Rice said although Trump’s “unpredictability” may be useful when dealing with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, such behavior is not how “the United States is supposed to act.”

“The words coming out of the administration even on the same day by multiple officials on consequential issues like our position on Syria, for example, are often at odds. And I think it leaves the world uncertain as to what we mean,” she added. 

Rice’s comments come after Trump said South Korea will pay for the missile defense system, but the president’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said the U.S. will handle the costs. 

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