Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Incoming Trump NSC Adviser Flynn — Outgoing Obama NSC Adviser Rice

Surrounded by all that golden sunshine plus big smiles
(Michael Flynn served 24 days — Susan Rice served 1,299 days)

Major Update (Posted after the following original post was made which follows):

On April 2, 2017, Alt-right media figure Mike Cernovich reported that former Obama NSC chief adviser Susan Rice had requested the unmasking of Trump officials.

The next day, Bloomberg’s Eli Lake confirmed (Note: This is part of the original post below) that Trump administration lawyers accused Rice of requesting “the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign.”

Right-wing media figures quickly ran with the report as a “BOMBSHELL,” but according to numerous legal and national security experts, “Rice’s actions are likely legal.” Regardless “Bombshell” took off like a rocket across GOP laa-laa land (no, not the musical, either). It apparently landed squarely here: RNC-GOP “Fake News” HQ:

The rest of this rather long story is here (from Media Matters) … check it out – it is a very good read.

Original Post Starts Here: Related to the following and on-going Trump-Putin/Russian links, sort of:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on last Sunday’s ABC “This Week” with Martha Raddatz again called for a Special Committee to transparently investigate Trump connections to Russia, saying in part: “The fact is that we know for a fact the Russians tried to change the outcome of our election by attacking the very fundamentals of democracy. We need to know how, we need to know why, and most of all we need to know what to do to prevent this kind of activity, which they continue to carry on in free nations around the world.”

Now, a brand “new bombshell” Susan Rice-Barack Obama unmasking and wiretapping “connection” however, more likely “a flop not flap” that is breaking all over the place (posted above as update).

(I Note: Rightwing links are going nuts over this story – which is not out of character for them – pick up a rumor of tidbit and run with it like crazy … what can we call that? Oh, yeah, unreal, or more apropos: Like they blame mainstream media for all the time, just like President Tweeter? “Fake News.”)
Reports that Rice’s pattern of requesting unmasking was discovered by Trump’s NSC staffer Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who BTW was the same man named by the NY Times as one of Rep. Devin Nunes sources. Cohen-Watnick informed the White House Counsel’s office about finding the “Rice connection” then he called and rushed it to Rep. Devin Nunes (or so it seems likely). Nunes, it also seems, passed that along to Mr. Trump in the Oval Office. 
Now as Paul Harvey used to say: “The rest of the story” from here in part:
Susan Rice was National Security Adviser to Mr. Obama at the time her “unmasking requests were made.” She has not commented on the report, however, it is very likely and legal for her to have requested the unmasking — which most experts say:  “It is the standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected in such taps for a number of reasons. It may have some foreign intelligence value, which is the standard that can apply to almost anything and anyone caught by a legal tap or even FBI sting.” That standard is rock-solid for numerous reasons: e.g., She needed to know if anyone on the President’s staff was involved – both incoming and outgoing administrations in FISA wiretaps. Nothing usual since she DID NOT leak names to anyone about anyone on the list. This a key and major point, BTW.

Time will tell on the Rice-connection-gate or whatever else the GOP labels it and let's face it, they are great at labeling things with one exception: Their own scandals.
Thus writes the reporter for this story (Eli Lake at Bloomberg).
As Lake further notes, nothing he — or anyone else — has uncovered lends credence to President Trump’s outlandish and unsupported original claim that Obama ordered surveillance of him at Trump Tower prior to the election.
Also, this “new story” does not suggest any illegal behavior on Rice’s part. As with each step in the story, this one offers only a small sliver of information. 
Many experts also seem to think the Bloomberg story does not imply anything improper or unusual on Rice’s part.
Watch the righties … they are like a dog with a bone; no meat on that bone, just bone to chew on.
Stay tuned.

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