Published: Thu, April 06, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Donald Trump says he thinks Susan Rice committed a crime

Ms. Rice has previously served as national security adviser to President Obama.

Rice, former national security advisor for President Obama, reportedly sought to unmask the identities of individuals associated with President Trump whose information was "incidentally collected" in intelligence reports. The standard for senior officials to learn the names of USA persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to nearly anything. The Wall Street Journal editorial page reports a source's revelation that Rice "also examined dozens of other intelligence summaries that technically masked Trump official identities but were written in such a way as to make obvious who those officials were".

"Lake wrote that according to "U.S. officials familiar with the matter", Rice requested the identities of USA persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign". If you have doubtless you know that there are congressional investigations of Russian interference with our recent elections. So this is simply not the profile of a woman who is suddenly going to reveal damaging new information before Congress.

He clearly sees a chance in this Trump-Russia controversy - all of which stems from a tweet by the President alleging he had been wiretapped by President Barack Obama - to score political points on the idea that the government is listening to everyone all the time and that it is a very bad thing indeed. "We can't let political partisans search through databases". The allegation is that somehow Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes.

It is a threat to our electoral democracy if a party in power is able to use the nation's intelligence apparatus to do opposition research on the party out of power. And Rice didn't help matters by, in an interview two weeks ago, appearing to deny knowledge of Trump associates being wrapped up in incidental surveillance of foreigners.

Leaking classified information could be a crime but no evidence has surfaced publicly indicating that Rice did that and she flatly denied doing so in her interview with MSNBC. Nor would it be unusual for her to request those identities be unmasked. You don't think she and the president discussed this? Mitchell asked Rice if the leaking or unmasking was done for political reasons. "I leaked nothing to nobody and never have and never would". But she has been a favorite target for Republicans for years, and bringing her back into the headlines reprises a familiar antagonist they love to hate - a crowd-pleasing Darth Vader cameo in an untested Star Wars spinoff.

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This is not the first scandal to plague Susan Rice. Just look at her track record.

"Now we know that someone in the Obama administration was eavesdropping and specifically searching a databank looking for the Trump (people)", Sen.

"Here was Rice's response: 'I know nothing about this".

The National Security Council's senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, was conducting the review, according to two US officials who spoke with Bloomberg View on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Rice's critics believe her credibility is questionable at best after she claimed on all five Sunday morning talk shows in 2012 that the attacks on the USA consulate in Benghazi were a spontaneous response to an anti-Muslim YouTube video, not - as eventually became clear - the result of a coordinated terrorist attack.

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