FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER INCLUDES BOSS IN THE DISCUSSION
by Sharon Rondeau
Rice said that “asking for the identity” of an American citizen whose name is captured in foreign surveillance is “not the same” as leaking it.
When Mitchell told Rice that she has been accused of leaking the name of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, Rice denied it and added that those leaking names of U.S. persons are “doing something very wrong.”
As to Flynn, Rice claimed that she did not know he was an “unregistered agent for the Turkish government” until hearing so from the media, a claim Obama made about the Veterans Administration medical-care scandal, the IRS’s focus on denying or delaying approval of non-profit status for right-leaning groups, and the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya which killed four Americans.
On March 4, President Donald Trump tweeted that his office at Trump Tower was “wiretapped” by the Obama regime, particularly during the last weeks leading up to the November 8 election. Trump was immediately eviscerated in the press for having failed to provide “evidence.”
In a March 22 interview with Judy Woodruff of PBS, Rice claimed to have had no knowledge of surveillance documentation House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said he viewed the same day at the White House.
Nunes had said that the documents he viewed were “very troubling” and did not involve ongoing investigations into whether or not the Russian government attempted to interfere in the November election.
In speaking with Mitchell, Rice explained the process by which a U.S. citizen’s name is unmasked and admitted to having asked to unmask on occasion.
When Mitchell asked, in regard to the collection of intelligence, “Did the pace accelerate during the transition, perhaps in early December, perhaps when the president ordered an investigation into the hacking, the Russian hacking? Did the pace of unmasking requests, of your unmasking requests, accelerate toward the end of the White House tenure?”
Rice responded by again bringing in Obama to the “process.” “If you’re asking, ‘Were there more reports provided to senior U.S. officials after the president requested the compilation of the intelligence which was ultimately provided in January?’ yes.”
It is not clear which “intelligence” Obama was seeking.
Rice said she did not recall making more requests to unmask U.S. persons’ names at any given time. “I don’t have a particular recollection of doing that more frequently after the election, for example, than doing so before,” she said.
Rice also specifically said that unmasking involved “U.S. officials,” but she did not mention political figures.
Rice’s account appears to contradict a Monday report from The Daily Caller which quoted former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova as having said that upon Rice’s request, “detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals” were produced by the U.S. intelligence community, particularly between July and the time of the election.
Whether or not Trump and/or his associates were speaking with foreigners or foreigners were speaking about Trump or his colleagues in a situation which would have come under the NSA’s monitoring authority was not revealed. However, The Daily Caller’s article said that the conversations were “legal.”
Fox News has reported that surveillance of the Trump campaign by the Obama regime began “up to a year before inauguration” and well before he secured the Republican presidential nomination.
As to the pace at which intelligence was gathered and disseminated among Obama’s national security team about alleged Russian election interference, Rice said that she recalled an increase in that type of information being produced by the intelligence community (9:07). “Yes, there was a pace of reporting as the intelligence community got more and more information on that and shared it with U.S. officials,” she told Mitchell.
Rice said it is “absolutely false” that “eavesdropping,” as Mitchell put it, occurred in regard to Trump or his associates. “The intelligence community, the director of the FBI, has made that very clear,” Rice said, referring to FBI Director James Comey’s sworn statement during a public hearing on March 20 that he had seen no evidence that Trump was surveilled.
Trump has not described the alleged activity as “eavesdropping,” but rather, “wiretapping,” a term his spokesman later said meant surveillance in general.
Many in the mainstream media have reported or suggested that there are ties between Trump and/or his campaign aides and the Russian government. During the March 20 open hearing in front of the House Intelligence Committee, Comey affirmed that his agency is investigating the allegations but would not confirm that the names of those who leaked Flynn’s name to the media are being sought as well.
During parts of the interview, Rice curiously spoke in present tense, as in “That’s necessary for me to do my job” (12:22), as if she were still in the position.
Mitchell did not ask exactly how the Russian government allegedly interfered in the election, but rather, accepted it as fact.
An example of alleged Russian influence on the U.S. presidential election has been said to have been the procuring and release of thousands of emails from the account of former Hillary Clinton campaign manager, John Podesta, beginning in early October and continuing through Election Day. The emails, released by Wikileaks.org, cast the DNC in a negative light by showing coordination with mainstream media outlets to cover the campaign favorably; DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s having stated that Bernie Sanders “isn’t going to be the president;” and referring to people by unflattering stereotypes.
WikiLeaks has denied that Russia or any government entity provided the emails.
As a result of the publicity over the emails, Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign her chairmanship. The DNC convention was instead chaired by Donna Brazile, who also was revealed in WikiLeaks’ releases as having communicated townhall questions to the Clinton campaign in advance, lied about it, and later admitted it.
Brazile consequently lost her job as a political commentator at CNN but is now writing for TIME Magazine.
In November, Wasserman Schultz was reelected to her seat as a Florida congresswoman.
When Mitchell asked Rice if she “would be willing” to testify to Congress, Rice said she did not want to “prejudge,” then turned the conversation back to the alleged Russian “effort to play in our electoral process.”
Five days after the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Rice was a guest on five Sunday talk shows stating that the cause was anger over an obscure video parodying Mohammed. Her words were proved to be false after the Obama regime was forced in the ensuing weeks to admit that the attack was preplanned and well-organized by Islamic terrorists.
On March 9, former military intelligence officer Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer (Ret) told Fox News’s Sean Hannity that concerning DNC hacking, “We did it; not me, but our guys. Former members of NSA, retired intelligence officers, used these tools to break in there and get the information out.”
Some political observers have stated that it appears that holdovers from the Obama regime in the intelligence community and elsewhere in the federal government are attempting to sabotage Trump’s presidency.
On March 16, Obama reportedly arrived in on the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia, reportedly for a month. “No political meetings have been announced during Obama’s stay and it is not clear what he plans to do during the sojourn or whether his family will join him,” Yahoo! News reported.