Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice says attack on democracy "coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue"

Susan Rice warns "democracy is under assault"

The former national security adviser to President Obama told "CBS This Morning" that for the first time she can remember, "our democracy is under assault" and the attack is coming "from within."

"It's coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And for all of the security threats I saw as national security adviser, all the challenges we faced, I never thought I'd see that," said Rice, who also served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Rice, whose new book "Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For" is out next week, said she was stunned when President Trump publicly called on China to investigate Hunter Biden on Thursday despite no evidence of wrongdoing. The president tweeted that he has the "absolute right" to ask other countries to investigate corruption. 

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"He gets on television before the world and asks China to give him dirt," Rice said.  "Truthfully? I couldn't believe it. I mean, every day we hear something new that causes you to say, 'did that really happen?' This for me was qualitatively different because the president of the United States was welcoming and inviting our principal foreign adversary to intervene in our election."

Mr. Trump has also alleged, without evidence, that Joe Biden pushed for the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor while he was vice president because that prosecutor was investigating the energy company where his son served on the board. But that prosecutor's removal was supported by the international community because he was widely considered as corrupt. Ukraine confirmed Friday morning it will revisit cases involving the energy company where Hunter Biden served as a director.

Texts released late Thursday show Trump administration officials coaching the Ukrainians on what to say to win a meeting with President Trump, specifically that they would conduct an investigation into the Ukrainian company linked to former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden.   

"Joe Biden was doing what he was asked to do by the president of the United States consistent with serving our policy interests," Rice told "CBS This Morning" co-host Tony Dokoupil. "President Trump on the one hand is asking Ukraine for a favor that benefits him personally and politically ... Trump tried to hide it through sequestering – the reality we face, Tony, and what worries me so much, it gets back to your original point, Gayle, is for the first time that I can remember our democracy is under assault. Our country is in effect under attack and that attack is coming now from within. It's coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And for all of the security threats I saw as national security adviser, all the challenges we faced, I never thought I'd see that."

"He's in effect saying to our farmers and our manufacturers and to all of us who have been suffering as a consequence of his trade war that all could be well and perhaps be resolved on terms more favorable to China if he gets dirt. That was the clear implication. And one other thing if I might, if you're China and you're listening to President Trump on the South Lawn make that statement, what are you thinking?" Rice said. "You're thinking this man is not predictable, he's not stable, he's not playing with a full deck. And if they were being smart and never discount the Chinese ability to be smart, they'd think maybe this is an opportunity to steal second base. Whether that's in trade, whether that's in the South China Sea, whether that's in cyberspace. We are projecting insecurity, instability and chaos to the rest of the world."