The day after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, White House national security adviser Susan Rice gathered her staff for a pep talk. About a third of the room was crying. Everyone was in shock. Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton, an upset of historic proportions that promised, at a minimum, a period of uncertainty in U.S. foreign policy. Most who joined Rice that day worked for the National Security Council, the White House’s elite group of foreign policy experts. Some were political appointees of President Barack Obama, and there was little question they’d be out of jobs by Inauguration Day. But most were career government staffers, typically detailed to the NSC from other agencies and sworn to serve under any presidential administration in a nonpartisan way. They didn’t know what to expect, but many were uneasy about Trump’s heated rhetoric on the campaign trail — his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin, his skepticism of U.S. allies, his calls to dismantle the post-Cold War consensus on global trade.Story Continued Below Rice said the NSC staffers should give Trump a chance, that he and his team deserved the benefit of the doubt. Their duty was to the country,… Read full this story
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