Interviews

McFarland: Rice will be a 'weak' national security adviser

Reaction to Obama's promotion of Amb. Rice

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 6, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Boy, life is nice if you're Rice. With a new gig as national security adviser -- by the way, one that doesn't need Senate approval, --my next guest says good luck getting the U.N. ambassador to testify on Benghazi.

To Fox News national security analyst KT McFarland.

Why good luck?

(LAUGHTER)

KT MCFARLAND, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Well, she's not going to do it. She hasn't testified yet on Benghazi.

She is not going to be having confirmation hearings to be secretary of state. To be NSC adviser, she doesn't need to be confirmed, no confirmation hearings there.

CAVUTO: So, there's nothing to compel her to do this?

MCFARLAND: No!

And, as national security adviser, the president can extend what's called executive privilege over her, so she cannot have to go to -- she doesn't have to answer a subpoena. She doesn't have to testify before Congress.

CAVUTO: You know what...

MCFARLAND: A "get out of jail free" card.

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

But what I get from this is that both the president and the administration and too Ambassador Rice all saying -- you know?

(LAUGHTER)

MCFARLAND: Well, yes, he is circling the wagons.

I can't...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: They're not circling their wagons. What he is, is sticking his finger out.

MCFARLAND: Well, but more than that is he's getting his people.

First term, what did he have to do? He had to take other people they may not have wanted, Hillary Clinton at the State Department, Bob Gates, holdover from the Republican administration. He didn't necessarily think of these as his picks. And they also may not share his world view. I think they probably didn't.

So, now what does he have? He has people who share his world view. They're loyalists to him. He's circling the wagons. And I think he is just going to double down. We're not -- we weren't -- we didn't know anything about these wiretaps. We didn't know anything about the cover-up for Benghazi. We read it in the paper.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: By picking her -- and, by the way, she might have just been just fed these talking points, have not even known at the time...

(CROSSTALK)

MCFARLAND: I think that's even worse.

CAVUTO: So, fine.

But then whether she was snookered or not, she created a huge storm of controversy.

MCFARLAND: Right.

CAVUTO: And he didn't care. The president didn't care. He just more or less said to Republicans, I'm going to ram this thing -- that to me guaranteed pretty tense relations now for this term.

MCFARLAND: You bet.

And what he is also doing is -- I think is cutting off his nose to spite his face. She is not going to be a very strong national security adviser.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But didn't Republicans like her more than some of the attorney alternatives, because she does have a more hard-line stance, or no?

MCFARLAND: I don't think so.

CAVUTO: You don't think so?

MCFARLAND: No, I don't think so, no, and because -- and she will be a very weak secretary -- national security adviser because of the following.

Part of the job is to deal with Congress, not in testifying before the Congress, but in bringing them into the office and talking to them.

CAVUTO: Right.

MCFARLAND: I talked to two former national security advisers today.

One guy said, I spent a third of my time briefing Congress. She doesn't have great relations with Congress.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Well, maybe she doesn't do that.

MCFARLAND: Well, then...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Maybe John Kerry does that. And, by the way, how does that affect him?

MCFARLAND: Oh, this is -- watch and see, because she is very close to president personally.

CAVUTO: Right. And he's not.

MCFARLAND: They share the world view.

I think you're going to see a secretary of state who I think is pretty qualified for the job. He is going to clock more frequent flier miles than Hillary Clinton ever did.

CAVUTO: But didn't Henry Kissinger start out that way with Secretary of State Rogers and he eclipsed him?

MCFARLAND: Completely.

CAVUTO: So, this is going to be like that.

MCFARLAND: I worked for Kissinger. What Kissinger did, he came up with brilliant "think out of the box" policies. He negotiated with foreign leaders. He had the ear of the president. He then -- he was able to work with Congress, work with the foreign policy community, intelligentsia.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: So, if I'm John Kerry, I'm annoyed.

MCFARLAND: I think you got to wonder what your new job is. What is your role in all this, Mr. Kerry? Because if there's a crisis, it's not the secretary of state that runs to the White House and sets up the crisis management group. It's the national security adviser.

CAVUTO: Yes. Wow.

MCFARLAND: And so we will see. Stay tuned. But one thing, I don't think you're going to see her going like that on Capitol Hill taking the oath of office and explaining Benghazi.

CAVUTO: Well, all of those but one finger -- but amazing. But it is amazing, you know.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: KT, you're the best. Thank you.

MCFARLAND: Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2013 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2013 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.