So how many versions of Susan Rice’s story about the unmasking of Trump associates during the election have we been through now? This morning another log was chucked onto the fire when the former Former National Security Adviser showed up on Fareed Zakaria’s show for the next round of questions. Rice remains too clever by half, couching all of her answers in ways which seemingly imply one thing while not pinning herself down. (Politico)
Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice denied President Donald Trump’s claim that she tried to unmask Americans in an attempt to implicate Trump campaign officials, adding that she never did anything “untoward with respect to the intelligence” she received.
During an interview with CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” airing Sunday morning, Rice said Trump’s accusation is “absolutely false” and that members of Congress have not found anything inappropriate in the situation.
“I think now we’ve had subsequently members of Congress on the intelligence committees on both sides of the aisle take a look at the information that apparently was the basis for Chairman [Devin] Nunes’ concern, and say publicly that they didn’t see anything that was unusual or untoward,” Rice said, referring to the California Republican.
Anyone noticing anything different in this version of the tale? You may recall that when the story first broke Rice spoke to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC and at least heavily implied that Trump’s initial accusations were all some sort of fever swamp fantasies. (What she actually said was that she never leaked anything.) But before very long the details which emerged told a very different story. Within days it was revealed that she had, in fact, actively sought to have names revealed to her even if they had originally been picked up “incidentally.” Eventually we reached the point where the best they could say was that it appeared that she hadn’t done anything that was technically illegal.
Now, in the fashion so typical of politicians (as opposed to national security experts), she’s answering an entirely different question. Yes, she did get that information but she never did anything “unusual or untoward” with it. And why would we be so suspicious as to think she might have seen some value in data collected on people associated with the guy who was then in a heated battle to defeat the candidate who was promising to carry on her boss’s legacy? Perish the thought.
The Democrats found themselves opening a very unexpected can of worms when this entire Russia investigation kicked off. What should have been a slam dunk in terms of a bad PR hit against Trump has wound up raising more questions about the Obama administration than anything else. And deep in the center of it sits Susan Rice, one of Obama’s most loyal field soldiers who also just happened to have her ear against the door with access to the most sensitive intelligence information available.
It’s a funny old world, isn’t it? You just never know when the worm will turn and who might be bitten next.