Former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice is being accused of asking to “unmask” Trump aides in intelligence reports.
She went to Obama friendly NBC to respond to the claim for the first time in an interview with Andrea Mitchell.
Listen carefully to Rice’s words, and it is clear to see she is lying, and admitting to spying on Trump. A good lawyer would tear Rice apart in court.
And a double negative statement like, “I leaked nothing to nobody”, is Rice’s Bill Clinton moment, when the former POTUS famously told a grand jury (when speaking about his affair with Monica Lewinsky), “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”
Here is the complete Susan Rice interview…
If anyone expected former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, the same Susan Rice who “stretched the truth” about Benghazi, to admit in her first public appearance after news that she unmasked members of the Trump team to admit she did something wrong, will be disappointed. Instead, moments ago she told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that she categorically denied that the Obama administration inappropriately spied on members of the Trump transition team.
Susan Rice told Andrea Mitchell…
“The allegation is that somehow, Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes.”
“That’s absolutely false. My job is to protect the American people and the security of our country. ”
“There was no such collection or surveillance on Trump Tower or Trump individuals, it is important to understand, directed by the White House or targeted at Trump individuals.”
“The notion, which some people are trying to suggest, that by asking for the identity of the American person is the same is leaking it — that’s completely false.”
“There is no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking.”
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 4, 2017
Zerohedge further adds…
That said, Rice did not discuss what motive she may have had behind what Bloomberg, Fox and others have confirmed, was her unmasking of members of the Trump team.
Rice also flatly denied exposing President Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign in February after media reports revealed that he misled Vice President Pence about the contents of a phone call with the Russian ambassador. Asked by Mitchell if she seeked to unmask the names of people involved in the Trump campaign in order to spy on them, Rice says: “absolutely not, for any political purpose, to spy, expose, anything.” And yet, that is what happened. She was then asked if she leaked if she leaked the name of Mike Flynn: “I leaked nothing to nobody.”
WATCH: Susan Rice insists “I leaked nothing to nobody” https://t.co/kAsbu4VJDN
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 4, 2017
From almost the outset of the interview, Rice did not make an effort to deny that she was involved in requests to unmask the identities of Americans inadvertently caught up in intelligence signals intercepts. However, she refused to disclose the identities of any of the individuals who were unmasked, saying it would be a violation of classification laws to do so. Furthermore, she denied that any of it was done for political purposes or as part of a coordinated effort to target the Trump transition team.
“The allegation is that somehow the Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes, ” Rice told Andrea Mitchell. “That’s absolutely false.”
Yet, Rice did acknowledge that sometimes after receiving “masked” reports, it would be necessary to find out the identity of the American citizen in order to make the report more useful. It was those instances, she said, a request would be made to “unmask” the American’s identity. She then provided a rather generic hypothetical of how it may have happened.
“Let me give you just a hypothetical example,” Rice said. “Lets say there was a conversation between two foreigners, about a conversation they were having with an American, who was proposing to sell to them high-tech bomb making equipment.”
She explained it would be necessary to find out the identity of the American to see if he was a legitimate threat or just some “kook.”
Nonetheless, the significant fact remains that Rice acknowledged involvement in the “unmasking” process and review of phone calls that included the names of American citizens. After all, it was just two weeks ago that Rice appeared on PBS and seemed to deny that she had any idea about recent reports then from Congressman Devin Nunes of California that suggested that he had viewed transcripts that showed top officials in the Obama administration appeared to have caught up incidental surveillance on Trump transition officials.
“What I’ve read seems to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal, but I don’t know that it’s right and I don’t know if the American people would be comfortable with what I’ve read,” Nunes told reporters a few weeks ago.
In response to Nunes claims, Rice was interviewed on PBS and seemed completely taken aback by the implications and even suggested that Nunes was merely peddling falsehoods related to alleged “wiretapping” of Trump Tower by the Obama administration.
“I know nothing about this,” Rice said of Nunes remarks in the PBS interview. “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today.”
She then went into criticizing President Trump over his tweets that suggested Obama had his “wires tapped” at Trump Tower during the campaign and transition.
She also added, “So, today, I really don’t know to what Chairman Nunes was referring, but he said that whatever he was referring to was a legal, lawful surveillance, and that it was potentially incidental collection on American citizens.”
Unlike her flat out denial two weeks ago, the answers Rice provided today to Andrea Mitchell seem to square somewhat with Nunes initial allegations — that perhaps legal and lawful surveillance conducted by the Obama administration likely included American citizens incidentally swept up in the intel dragnet.
So, it would appear that Rice is now rapidly changing her story as more facts continue to come out about what really took place in the final months of the Obama administration, related to potential surveillance, even initially incidental, of members of the Trump transition team.