NBC’s Guthrie to Susan Rice: Does Obama Want Iran Deal ‘Too Much’?

In an interview with National Security Advisor Susan Rice aired on Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie challenged the White House effort to reach a nuclear deal with Iran: “Anyone watching this closely, they all say basically the same thing – that the optics are that the administration wants this deal too much.”

Rice defensively shot back: “Well, that's rather ridiculous since it's not us that's under crushing sanctions. So that’s not the case. The President has been absolutely clear, all of us are clear, no deal is better than a bad deal. And there will not be a bad deal.”

Fill-in news anchor Sheinelle Jones introduced the segment by declaring: “The Obama administration now has just a week and a half to reach an historic nuclear deal with Iran.”

Later in the exchange, Rice suggested that even her personal information may have been hacked in a recent massive government data breach:

GUTHRIE: How significant was this breach?

RICE: It was significant. Millions of records may have been compromised.

GUTHRIE: Even high-level national security clearance documents-

RICE: Maybe me.

GUTHRIE: I was going to ask you, do you think your records could have been?

RICE: I don't know. I’ll find out.

Here is a full transcript of the interview aired on June 19:

8:05 AM ET

SHEINELLE JONES: The Obama administration now has just a week and a half to reach an historic nuclear deal with Iran. This week Savannah sat down with national security advisor Susan Rice, a key member of the President’s national security team.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Susan Rice One-on-One; National Security Advisor on Iran, Hacking, Legacy]  

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: In the past, the President and the administration has put the odds of a deal at about 50/50. Where would you put the odds?

SUSAN RICE: Not much higher than that, to be quite frank. Maybe depending on the day of the week, 60/40. But there’s still some tough issues to be resolved.

GUTHRIE: Anyone watching this closely, they all say basically the same thing – that the optics are that the administration wants this deal too much.

RICE: Well, that's rather ridiculous since it's not us that's under crushing sanctions. So that’s not the case. The President has been absolutely clear, all of us are clear, no deal is better than a bad deal. And there will not be a bad deal.

GUTHRIE: Let me ask you about the hacking of the government personnel office. And I’ll just ask you directly, is China responsible?

RICE: We have not made a public attribution of responsibility. We’re still very much investigating.

GUTHRIE: How significant was this breach?

RICE: It was significant. Millions of records may have been compromised.

GUTHRIE: Even high-level national security clearance documents-

RICE: Maybe me.

GUTHRIE: I was going to ask you, do you think your records could have been?

RICE: I don't know. I’ll find out.

GUTHRIE: I have a feeling you’re not going to answer this, but, does the U.S. do the kind of cyber-spying on other governments that is suspected to have happened here?

RICE: Savannah, you're absolutely right.

GUTHRIE: You are not answering that question.

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