Susan Rice — the former national security adviser to President Barack Obama who unmasked the identities of multiple officials on Trump’s campaign and transition teams — still has top-secret security clearance under the Trump administration.
An astounding report on Thursday from Sara A. Carter and Circa details the official letter Trump national security adviser General H.R. McMaster sent to Rice, “giving her unfettered and continuing access to classified information and waiving her ‘need-to-know’ requirement on anything she viewed or received during her tenure.”
The letter was sent in the mail to Rice’s home during the last week of April. “Trump was not aware of the letter or McMaster’s decision, according to two Senior West Wing officials and an intelligence official, who spoke to Circa on condition that they not be named,” the report states.
“I hereby waive the requirement that you must have a ‘need-to-know’ to access any classified information contained in items you ‘originated, reviewed, signed or received while serving,’ as National Security Adviser,” McMaster wrote. The letter also confirms for Rice that the National Security Council will work with her to ensure she has access to classified information.
According to Circa, White House officials said that the scope of Rice’s clearance went beyond what is proper, given the president’s concerns that members of his team were unmasked by Rice. In fact, by granting her this level of access, H.R. McMaster undermined the president’s claim that Susan Rice’s unmasking of Trump officials was wrong.
“Basically, this letter which was signed in the last week of April undercuts the president’s assertion that Susan Rice’s unmasking activity was inappropriate. In essence, anybody who committed a violation as she did would not be given access to classified information,” a senior West Wing official, who confirmed the authenticity of the letter, told Circa. “In fact, they would have their security clearance and right to ‘need-to-know’ stripped.”
“The point is, is that it lowers the bar for her,” the official said.
“This memo McMaster sent to Rice makes it so that she doesn’t have to prove a continuing ‘need-to-know’ to have access to classified information and in effect is a White House pardon of Susan Rice and could be used by other Obama officials who conducted targeted unmasking of the campaign as a defense,” the official added.
So not only has McMaster actively purged conservatives from Trump’s National Security Council and kept on countless Obama-administration holdovers – antagonistic to the president’s agenda – but now he’s given every Obama official who inappropriately sought classified information on Trump team members an excuse for the actions.
What the hell is this?
National security adviser H.R. McMaster plots against President Trump, opposing the president’s position on the Iran nuclear deal. McMaster insults the president behind his back. McMaster drives conservatives off the national security team.
And now it is revealed McMaster has handed a political enemy of the Trump administration free reign to view top-secret, classified information (at a time of unprecedented amounts of intelligence leaks, no less).
Why does H.R. McMaster still have a job?
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
Send tips and hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.