Former national security adviser Susan Rice aired some old grievances during a podcast set to air Wednesday, referring to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) as a “piece of shit” while speaking about the GOP’s endless criticism over her handling of 2012’s attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.
Rice, who is on tour for her new book, spoke with the hosts of “Pod Save the World” this week about the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and the Turkish invasion of Kurdish-held territory in Syria. During one fiery moment, however, former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes brought up the Benghazi attack to add context to Trump’s decisions surrounding foreign policy.
“You have to understand Benghazi to understand [President] Trump,” Rhodes said during a preview of the episode posted on Twitter.
“Right, because Lindsey Graham isn’t just a piece of shit now,” Tommy Vietor, another host and former Obama adviser, replied.
“He’s been a piece of shit,” Rice interjected. “I said it. I said it, dammit. Finally. He’s a piece of shit.”
Graham has long been one of Trump’s most ardent defenders, regularly going to bat for the president on his favorite news networks while lambasting his Democratic critics. Though he initially broke with the president’s decision to order U.S. troops to leave Syria, calling it a “national security disaster in the making,” he reversed course in an interview with Fox News this week, saying he was “increasingly optimistic” that “historic solutions” were on the horizon.
Rice is not a fan of the Trump administration’s policies abroad. Earlier this month, she said the White House would have “blood” on its hands over its decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and abandon the country’s Kurdish allies, effectively opening the door to a Turkish attack.
“I mean, the Kurds were the pointy end of the spear who fought ISIS on our behalf,” Rice said during an interview with CNN at the time. “They bled and died because they believed in the partnership they had established with the United States, and we just threw them under the bus in 24 hours. It’s appalling. It’s disgraceful.”
Just days before, she had called the decision “batshit crazy.”
During the podcast, Rice also spoke about Fox News and its propensity to turn individual political figures into villains in order to inflame viewers, a standard Trump has applied to his own presidency.
“You always need fresh villains,” Rice said. “Now, on Fox, many years later they just need to say my name and it’s like people start twitching. It’s like an automatic trigger point.”
“Trump is the master of it,” she added. “He makes people angry every day.”
The president has already attacked Rice for her criticisms this month, calling her a “disaster.”