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Susan Rice Defends Obama Over NSA Leaks: Accusation This Has Weakened Him Is ‘Bunk’

Susan Rice‘s term as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is almost up, as she transfers into her new position as President Obama‘s national security advisor. This comes on the heels of some very high-profile leaks about NSA surveillance that many in Congress have argued is damaging to national security. In an interview with the Associated Press, Rice downplays the significance of the leaks and says it’s “bunk” to think they have damaged Obama or U.S. foreign policy.

Edward Snowden, the man who leaked the top-secret documents to Glenn Greenwald, is reportedly hiding out in a Russian airport, and Vladimir Putin has no intention of sending him back to the United States. However, Rice says the “diplomatic consequences” of the leaks aren’t that significant for now. Her comments echo the president downplaying the notion he should be “scrambling jets” to track Snowden down.

She expressed confidence that “the Snowden thing is obviously something that we will get through, and defended Obama’s leadership throughout this ongoing situation.

Rice dismissed commentators who say Snowden’s disclosures have made Obama a lame duck, damaged his political base, and hurt U.S. foreign policy, saying: “I think that’s bunk.”

“I think the United States of America is and will remain the most influential, powerful and important country in the world, the largest economy, and the largest military, (with) a network of alliances, values that are universally respected,” she said.

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