Following the declassification of serial liar Susan Rice’s infamous “by the book” email on Tuesday (my colleague Bonchie posted on this story here), The Daily Caller dug up the clip below from an April 2017 PBS News interview of Rice. PBS’ Judy Woodruff asked Rice:
In the last few hours, we’ve been following a disclosure by the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, that in essence, during the final days of the Obama Administration, during the transition, after uh, uh, President Trump had been elected that he and the people around him may have been caught up in surveillance of foreign individuals and their identities may have been disclosed. Do you know anything about this?
Rice, bracing for the question, immediately replied, “I know nothing (wry chuckle) about this. I was surprised to see reports from Chairman [Devin] Nunes [R-CA] on that count today.” I’ll bet she was!
I mean, let’s back up and recall where we have been. The President of the United States accused his predecessor, President Obama, of wiretapping Trump Tower during the campaign. Nothing of the sort occurred and we’ve heard that confirmed by the Director of the FBI who also pointed out that no president, no White House, uh, can order the surveillance of another American citizen. That can only come from the Justice Department with the approval of a FISA Court.
So, today, I really don’t know to what, uh, Chairman Nunes was referring, but he said whatever he was referring to was a legal, lawful surveillance, that it was potentially incidental collection on American citizens. And I think it’s important for people to understand what incidental means. That means that the target was either a foreign entity or somebody under criminal investigation and that the Americans who were talking to those may have been picked up.
“[Trump] and the people around him may have been caught up in surveillance of foreign individuals and their identities may have been disclosed. Do you know anything about this?”
Susan Rice: “I know nothing about this.” pic.twitter.com/ajkvGMfG3b
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 20, 2020
In other words, ‘Imagine the gall of President Trump to accuse President Obama of spying on his campaign. It never happened. Just ask James Comey. It was just incidental collection.’
Rice knows that baffling viewers by referring to a mysterious state activity most of us know little about will help.
What she leaves out is the fact that a president can surveil a U.S. citizen with the authorization of his attorney general. Does anyone doubt that Loretta Lynch would have refused a request from Obama?
Dan Bongino discussed this as one of the ways the Obama Administration may have been able to surveil then-incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s December 29 phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Exception to Court Order Requirement: The President may authorize electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year without a FISC court order where the Attorney General certifies that there is “no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a U.S. person is a party,” provided the surveillance is directed solely at communications among or between foreign powers, or “the acquisition of technical intelligence…from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power.” 50 U.S.C. § 1802.
Moreover, Admiral Mike Rogers, who served as Director of the National Security Agency under President Obama, traveled to Trump Tower on November 17, 2016, to brief then-President-elect Donald Trump that communications from the building were being tapped. Later that day, the Trump transition team announced they were moving their operations to a new location in New Jersey. Within days, The Washington Post reported that “James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ash Carter had recommended the removal of Mike Rogers from his NSA position.” Rogers was not fired, for obvious reasons. I posted about this here. (The post is entitled, “UNSUNG HERO: Admiral Mike Rogers, Obama’s NSA Chief, Discovered Administration’s ‘702’ Illegal Spying Operation and Briefed Trump About Surveillance of Trump Tower.”)
In 2014, Rogers discovered that American citizens were being spied upon. He drew attention to the abuse of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the Obama administration. Used as intended, it’s a useful law enforcement tool. Abused as it had been by Obama administration officials up until Rogers’ discovery in 2014, it became a weapon. The Obama White House used these intercepts, which are meant to be used to thwart terrorist attacks, against their opponents for political purposes.
Contrary to Rice’s statement that she knew nothing about the surveillance, her now fully declassified email indicates she was fully aware of the surveillance of Gen. Flynn from his communications with Kislyak.
After Rice’s email was released on Tuesday night, her spokeswoman, Erin Pelton issued the following statement via Twitter:
— Erin Pelton (@erin_pelton) May 19, 2020
The Senate Judiciary Committee must question Rice under oath as soon as possible.