Susan Rice, National Security Advisor, described on Sunday how President Barack Obama and his administration prepared for Brexit and its reaction to the referendum vote.
Speaking at Aspen Ideas Festival, Rice described how the Obama administration drafted contingency plans in coordination with other economies in Asia and Europe.
The National Security Council, the National Economic Council and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew each had contingency plans in place ahead of the referendum vote.
The administration was prepared for either outcome, and even drafted presidential statements for each. However, more time was dedicated to preparing for a vote to “Leave,” as the move would have a greater impact.
Before the vote took place, the White House had made arrangements for the president to speak with British Prime Minister David Cameron after the results were in. Obama initially attempted to contact Cameron on Thursday evening, but the time difference prevented the two from speaking until Friday after the prime minister announced his resignation.
The two spoke about the vote’s effects on bilateral trade, but the meeting was also a personal one. Obama and Cameron were close allies. Rice described the meeting as a “painful” one for Obama, who watched a close friend experience a “profound” loss.