Did Barack Obama use classified information from U.S. intelligence agencies to try to sabotage Trump by controlling the 2016 presidential election in the unlikely event Trump might dominate and win?
If he did, he failed spectacularly. Obama has lately gone strangely silent.
We’ve recently learned his national security adviser, political operative Susan Rice sought to unmask and reveal the identities of Trump’s transition officials in raw intelligence documents which were then shared with Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Ben Rhodes, another Obama accessory whose arrogance was noted when he boasted about putting the Iranian nuclear deal over on the press. They were allowed to consume NSA-based intelligence reports related to Donald Trump’s transition team and campaign. That unmasked information may have then been disseminated in leaks to render as much damage as possible.
The reports were extensive including in-depth information on meetings, foreign policy perspectives, plans the incoming administration considered and detailed phone records.
Rice, Brennan, Rhodes and Lynch are Obama loyalists who will do anything for their previous boss even cover up illegalities with the assistance of a weaponized media who bury any Obama damning information no matter how bad things get.
Susan Rice has no credibility. Her complicity in the Benghazi and Bowe Bergdahl stories relegate her to the serial liar category. She denied having any knowledge about unmasking names but later walked that back, admitting she requested that some American citizens whose names had been withheld, now be identified – a backhanded acknowledgment that she did engage in unmasking activities. Her requests are well documented – a detailed log that tells us when and what information she requested.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif) now the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee reviewed surveillance information relevant to the Trump team. A Bloomberg report makes clear he saw National Security Council logs of Rice requests to unmask names.
Would there be any reason for Rice to do this other than for political and personal reasons? A need perhaps to ‘save’ Obama’s legacy, a consideration he expressed more than once. Her unmasking intrusion may have had nothing to do with national security and if true, would be illegal.
How could she be authorized to electronically eavesdrop on Obama’s political opponent? Surveillance began when Trump emerged as a serious candidate. Much of Rice’s snooping occurred before the election but apparently went on for months thereafter.
Unlawful behavior may be catching up to Barack Obama and his posse of enablers if they spied using U.S. intelligence as a political weapon against the other party. That equates to misuse of power.
Were Trump associates unmasked to embarrass the next president or was spying by the Obama team an incidental non-deliberate development in which names emerged legally while conducting national security in their purported belief that Trump had links with Russian contacts?
It is hard to defend Obama’s previous behavior given his ‘you can keep your doctor’ lie or his Susan Rice-dispatched Benghazi message in which we were told the Benghazi attack was an event caused by a video. To prove that lie, they locked up Coptic Christian filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who was falsely blamed for four dead American heroes. Nakoula served time in prison and now lives in a homeless shelter – an innocent man blamed by Obama because it was simply convenient.
Who among us would go out on a limb to defend a former president who behaves this badly? Unfortunately there are plenty who are ideologically unhinged and will.
But is it a stretch that the same leader who politically weaponized the NSA, DOJ, IRS and State Department would also surveil Donald Trump, his transition team and even his family for a year? Unmasking those associated, including General Mike Flynn, was for this administration, wholly feasible if not predictable.
Obama in the final days of his second term shamelessly issued new rules under section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333, to expand the power of the National Security Agency (NSA) to share globally intercepted personal communication with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies (an effort to spread and leak classified information). That included unproven intelligence that claimed links between the Trump team and Russians as well as transcripts of General Michael Flynn (information that may have come from NSA intercepts of Kislyak’s phone) whose position as Trump’s National Security Advisor was later terminated as a result.
Michael Doran expressed his Flynn dismay when he said, “regardless of how the government collected on Flynn, the leak was a felony and a violation of his civil rights. But it was also a severe breach of the public trust. When I worked as an NSC staffer in the White House, 2005-2007, I read dozens of NSA surveillance reports every day. On the basis of my familiarity with this system, I strongly suspect that someone in the Obama White House blew a hole in the thin wall that prevents the government from using information collected from surveillance to destroy the lives of the citizens whose privacy it is pledged to protect.”
Doran also tells us, “The leaking of Flynn’s name was part of what can only be described as a White House campaign to hype the Russian threat and, at the same time, to depict Trump as Vladimir Putin’s Manchurian candidate.”
The connection between Russia and Trump took on a life of its own. It’s Alinsky Rule #11: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”
A hostile foreign power didn’t help Trump become president but it’s a convenient ruse.
The American people did.
And so did Hillary.
But those who obstruct prefer to fabricate stories.
When they do, truth loses reason. Convoluted layers of deception render it impenetrable and that’s the goal. Diversions (Russian hacking and Trump’s Russia connection) repeated cunningly, thwart any information that might feel reliable. Repeat and repeat again until the lie grows, whipping up a story unrelated to reality.
And if there was evidence of Trump-Russian collusion, wouldn’t it have been picked up given the high probability the federal government was monitoring Trump Tower for a long time. So much easier to drum up spin rather than acknowledge that Trump won the election because he was the most appealing candidate.
Evelyn Farkas, a former Obama Administrative Defense Department official admitted surveillance had occurred; she was caught on video in a ‘I Helped Spy On Trump For Obama’ which was mentioned by White House press secretary Sean Spicer: “I think that the revelations of Evelyn Farkas going on the record to talk about how they politically used classified information is troubling. She made it clear that it was their goal to spread this information around, that they went around and did this,” he said.
Rush Limbaugh summed things up well when he said on Tuesday, “So it turns out there was a government interfering in the presidential election. It was ours. It was the United States government, at the time being run by Barack Hussein O and his minions…
They have no evidence (of collusion) between Trump and the Russians, but look at the evidence of collusion between elements of the United States government and the Democrat Party. It’s overwhelming,” Limbaugh said…”This is bigger than Watergate.”
Circa’s John Solomon and Sara Carter’s extensive research concludes, “There may be very good reasons for some political appointees to need access to a non-minimized intelligence reporting but we don’t know and given the breadth of unmasked sharing that went on, there is the strong possibility of abusive or excessive access that harmed Americans’ privacy,” said an intel source familiar with the data. Added another: “Wholesale access to unmasked incidental NSA intercepts essentially created the potential for spying on Americans overseas after the fact, which is exactly what our foreign intelligence arms are not supposed to be doing.”
Does this story have legs? It sure does if the Republican Party interrogates Susan Rice, subpoenas her paper trail and emails, and follows the evidence where it leads. There’s a gold mine of available information. Hard to imagine with the NSA down the hall from the Oval Office that Obama did not know this was going on. It was a year long series of electronic break-ins directed at the opposition party far more explosive than Watergate. Unfortunately Rep. Devin Nunes who was doing a good job pursuing this story was himself brutally harassed, and recused himself from his Russian inquiry which was progressing all too nicely. It seems Nunes got spooked by leftist smears. Republicans don’t have the stomach for the crass manipulations Democrats indulge easily. Disparate and inconsistent Republicans may not have the grit to support Trump and go after those responsible. Democrats pitch political dirt far better than Republicans even when they’re the guilty party.
If President Trump was spied on he deserves the kind of tough support his party may not be able to produce.
Let’s hope they rally and punish the guilty parties.