America's security and global authority are threatened as the White House "dissembles and serially contorts the facts," former National Security Adviser Susan Rice warned Wednesday.
Rice, who is also a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said President Donald Trump's administration was undermining confidence in the U.S. by taking a "vacation from veracity."
In an op-ed published in the Washington Post, she said recent "false statements" about wiretapping that led to public criticism from Britain's spy agency were part of a "disturbing pattern of behavior that poses real and potentially profound dangers to U.S. national security."
She wrote: "When the American people question the commander in chief's statements, his ability to harness public support to confront a national crisis is undermined."
Rice, a Rhodes scholar who was confirmed as an ambassador by unanimous consent, warned that Washington's world standing was being harmed.
"The foundation of the United States' unrivaled global leadership rests only in part on our military might," she wrote. "It is also grounded in the perception that the United States is steady, rational and fact-based."
She added: "To lead effectively, the United States must maintain respect and trust. So, when a White House deliberately dissembles and serially contorts the facts, its actions pose a serious risk to America's global leadership, among friends and adversaries alike."
Enemies of the U.S. are also "more prone to miscalculate" if they doubt the word of the president, according to Rice.
"Is Russia certain we will defend every NATO ally at all costs? Does China think we want a trade war or stable economic relations? Does Kim Jong Un fear we may use force pre-emptively to counter his nuclear and missile capabilities? The United States' words matter."
Rice had been lined up to replace Hillary Clinton as President Barack Obama's secretary of state but dropped out of the running after she was criticized by Republicans for initially characterizing the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as opportunistic when evidence later emerged that it was a premeditated attack.