Susan Rice, the former Obama administration official who incorrectly argued that the 2012 Benghazi attack was prompted by an anti-Muslim video on YouTube, warned the Trump administration Tuesday about the dangers of stretching the truth.
Rice, President Obama's national security adviser, said in a Washington Post op-ed that the Trump administration's charges that British spies helped spy on Trump, and that his phones were tapped are not accurate, and could harm U.S. national security.
"These false statements from the White House are part of a disturbing pattern of behavior that poses real and potentially profound dangers to U.S. national security," she wrote.
She said U.S. strength derives in part from the idea that the U.S. is "steady, rational and face-based."
"[W]hen a White House deliberately dissembles and serially contorts the facts, its actions pose a serious risk to America's global leadership, among friends and adversaries alike," she said.
But Rice herself was roundly criticized for downplaying the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi as a spontaneous response to the YouTube video. Rice went on several news shows after the attack, which killed four Americans, and said the violence was the result of a spontaneous gathering outside the consulate.
"Based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present, is in fact it began spontaneously in Benghazi, as a reaction to what had transpired hours earlier in Cairo, where of course as you know there was a violent protest outside of our embassy, sparked by this hateful video," she said.
"We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or pre-planned," she added.
The House Select Committee on Benghazi released a report last year that found Obama administration officials were not pinning the event on the video, and instead believed it was a premeditated terrorist attack.
That report found that before going on TV, Rice was briefed only by Obama's political team, not anyone from the FBI, CIA or the Defense Department.
The report also found that many senior Obama officials were shocked by Rice's message in those interviews.
"The Senior Libya Desk Officer, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, wrote: 'I think Rice was off the reservation on this one,'" the report said. "The Deputy Director, Office of Press and Public Diplomacy, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, responded: 'Off the reservation on five networks!'"