Susan Rice Fights Back

“I leaked nothing to nobody—and never would.”

ZUMA

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Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Tuesday strongly rejected allegations that she improperly requested the “unmasking” of the identities of Trump associates whose communications were picked up in surveillance conducted by US intelligence.

“The allegation is that somehow Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes,” Rice told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “That’s absolutely false.”

Rice’s statement on Tuesday follows a report published in Bloomberg View Monday, citing anonymous intelligence officials who said that Rice requested the identities of certain Americans who were referenced in intelligence reports related to the Trump team. The identities of private US citizens are normally anonymized when they appear in intelligence reports about surveillance of foreign targets, but in certain cases, officials can ask for them to be revealed in order to provide greater context. Rice described this process as “longstanding” and “established,” but she said she could not discuss any specific unmasking that may have occurred. 

The Bloomberg report landed amid President Donald Trump’s continued accusations that former President Barack Obama—Rice’s boss at the time—ordered illegal wiretapping of Trump and his associates during the 2016 election. Bloomberg noted that there is “no evidence to support that claim” and that Rice’s alleged “unmasking requests were likely within the law.”

Still, conservative media outlets and lawmakers have since jumped on the story as evidence of Trump’s assertions.

On MSNBC, Rice provided an in-depth explanation of the unmasking process, and argued that the previous administration’s actions were proper. “We’d only do it to protect the American people, to do our jobs in the national security realm,” Rice said. “That’s the only reason.”

When asked whether she leaked information from the intelligence reports to the public, Rice categorically denied the charge.

“There’s no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking,” she said. “The effort to ask for the identity of the American citizen is necessary to understand the importance of an intelligence report in some instances.”

“I leaked nothing to nobody—and never would,” said Rice.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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