Given her track record, why should we now trust that Susan Rice is telling the truth about former President Barack Obama’s role in the past administration’s campaign to conduct illegal surveillance on Trump campaign and transition team members?
Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham released what they described as an “unusual email” Monday afternoon.
They found that former national security adviser Susan Rice, in her final moments in office, sent herself an email apparently documenting an Oval Office meeting she had over two weeks before alongside then-President Obama, FBI Director James Comey, and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
Grassley Graham letter to Obama's former National Security Advisor Susan Rice requesting info related to a partially unclassified email sent by Rice to herself on January 20, 2017. Did the Obama admin withhold info related to Russia from the Trump Team? https://t.co/fiJuTT5Cd7 pic.twitter.com/MsZSG3RtiP
— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) February 12, 2018
The senators followed up on the revelation with a list of 12 questions directed at Rice.
But what is also particularly odd about the email is the language she used to retroactively describe the events pertaining to the administration’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book’. The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.”
What might strike many as off-putting about this recounting is the fact that Obama would need to tell his top staffers to engage in ethical activity and conduct this particular investigation by the book. Not only that, the whole thing screams of a manufactured narrative, something Rice was relied upon to deliver during her time in the Obama administration
We also can’t ignore the fact that Rice’s tenure was rife with misdirection and outright lies when it came to defending the president’s policy actions.
She is the Obama official who went on almost every major network television network as part of a campaign to mislead the public on the 2012 Benghazi attacks that resulted in the deaths of four Americans. The Islamic terror attack came just months before President Obama’s successful re-election. Rice falsely claimed an anti-Muslim YouTube video set off a disconnected group of angry Muslims in Libya. The reality was that the Benghazi attack was a preplanned assault by violent jihadist groups.
When President Obama traded five senior Taliban commanders for Army deserter Bowe Berghdahl, Rice misled the public, claiming that he served with “honor and distinction.” The reality was that Bergdahl deserted his base, forcing his fellow soldiers to engage in an incredibly dangerous effort to find him.
Was Susan Rice told to lie about Bergdahl? Obama and his representatives lie about virtually everything, from ObamaCare to a deserter.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2014
Susan Rice praises Sgt. Bergdahl as serving with "honor and distinction".His fellow soldiers said he was a deserter pic.twitter.com/X8ZngsyTeA
— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) June 8, 2014
Trump says Susan Rice's unmasking is "the tip of the iceberg" pic.twitter.com/bhr7bXzVzG
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 14, 2017
“Unmasking” is the term used to describe revealing the names of Americans that are gathered as part of foreign surveillance collection efforts. Obama administration officials like Rice, along with U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, CIA Director John Brennan, and others reportedly abused this unmasking power to spy on members of the Trump team. After Rice denied her role in unmasking, she privately admitted to using unmasking authority to reveal the identities of Trump transition team officials.