The headlines in the conservative media were gleeful this morning. The story was that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice “unmasked” the names of Trump officials who were caught up in surveillance of foreign targets. And that this somehow proves that Trump’s claims of Obama wiretapping him were true.
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As the Washington Post reports, “Ordinarily, when a U.S. person shows up in such surveillance — say, talking to a Russian ambassador whose communications are being monitored — that person’s identity is blacked out in reports on the surveillance.” The Post also reports that Rice was within the law if she was in fact, the person in the administration who did so.
Except she denies doing anything improper.
“I leaked nothing to nobody,” she told MSNBC on Tuesday afternoon.
“If I saw an intelligence report that looked potentially significant … I can make that request,” Rice added of unveiling names of American citizens in intelligence reports. “That’s necessary for me to do my job.”
ABC News reports that a source in the NSA says that Rice, during the course of her official duties the former national security advisor, may have unmasked officials connected to the Trump transition team and campaign, but insisted that she would have never done so improperly.
“I’m not denying that she routinely requested the unmasking of individuals,” the source close to Rice said, adding that any instance of unmasking would have been necessary to understand the value of the intelligence being presented to her.
As per the Trump and conservative media playbook, when heat is on the Trump administration—i.e., the revelation that Jeff Sessions met with a Russian ambassador and lied to Congress about it; House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, being asked to recuse himself from investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia—something else miraculously “breaks” against the Obama administration. In the Sessions case, Trump tweets the claim that Obama wire tapped his phones; now, that Susan Rice doing her job somehow vindicates this ridiculous claim.
In both instances, there’s a “blame the black person” theme running through here.
It should also be noted that the first person who broke this “story” was, according to NBC News, Mike Cernovich, who is also known for promoting a false story that a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor was a nest of pedophiles connected to Hillary Clinton. Which obviously was a bald-faced lie.
We are no closer to the truth than we were weeks ago. But Trumpians can act like this somehow vindicates his ridiculous Tweets of Obama “wiretapping” Trump Tower and demonize a black person at the same time.
Win-win for them. Loss for democracy.
Happy Presidents' Day! 44 Photos To Make You Miss Obama
1. Barack Gives Daughter Malia a KissSource:Getty 1 of 44
2. Michelle and Barack tell the kids a storySource:Getty 2 of 44
3. Michelle and Barack KissSource:Getty 3 of 44
4. Michelle and BarackSource:Getty 4 of 44
5. First Family PortraitSource:Getty 5 of 44
6. Two TermsSource:Getty 6 of 44
7. Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaSource:Getty 7 of 44
8. Michelle and Barack host a State DinnerSource:Getty 8 of 44
9. The Obamas on Air Force OneSource:Getty 9 of 44
10. The First Family in LondonSource:Getty 10 of 44
11. First Lady Michelle Obama with daughters Malia Obama and Sasha ObamaSource:Getty 11 of 44
12. Sasha and Malia Obama at the 2016 State DinnerSource:Getty 12 of 44
13. Turkey PardoningSource:Getty 13 of 44
14. Sunday ChurchSource:Getty 14 of 44
15. Gobble, GobbleSource:Getty 15 of 44
16. Malia Obama, the First DaughterSource:Getty 16 of 44
17. Barack Obama and his daughter Malia ObamaSource:Getty 17 of 44
18. Team ObamaSource:Instagram 18 of 44
19. A Family AffairSource:Getty 19 of 44
20. Flashback To The Old DaysSource:Pete Souza 20 of 44
21. Happy Birthday!Source:Getty 21 of 44
22. Candidly AwesomeSource:Pete Souza 22 of 44
23. Historic First FamilySource:Getty 23 of 44
24. Ice Cream TreatSource:Getty 24 of 44
25. TV TimeSource:Pete Souza 25 of 44
26. Playing In The Oval OfficeSource:Instagram 26 of 44
27. Always Giving BackSource:Getty 27 of 44
28. A Christmas StorySource:Getty 28 of 44
29. Hawaii Trip!Source:Getty 29 of 44
30. Obama Loves Team USA & His WifeSource:Getty 30 of 44
31. Malia and Sasha ObamaSource:Getty 31 of 44
32. Michelle Plays on a BikeSource:Getty 32 of 44
33. Obama Loves Team USA, His Wife & MaliaSource:Getty 33 of 44
34. Reading TimeSource:Pete Souza 34 of 44
35. Family SupportSource:Getty 35 of 44
36. The Sister SelfieSource:Pete Souza 36 of 44
37. Supporting MomSource:Pete Souza 37 of 44
38. Giving Back On MLK DaySource:Getty 38 of 44
39. Obamas Give Back To The CommunitySource:Getty 39 of 44
40. Always Supporting Small BusinessesSource:Getty 40 of 44
41. Obama SwaggerSource:Getty 41 of 44
42. Laughs & TurkeysSource:Getty 42 of 44
43. Christmas With The ObamasSource:Getty 43 of 44
44. 50th Anniversary Of March On SelmaSource:Pete Souza 44 of 44