Susan Rice Keeps Her Mask On - With the Mainstream Press Corps' Help
By The Wall Street Journal --
Susan Rice returned to the friendly confines of MSNBC Tuesday to respond to softball questions about the news that the Obama national security adviser had “unmasked” the identity of at least one member of the Trump transition team who was surveilled by U.S. intelligence. Her answers make it all the more imperative to hear her under oath before Congress.
Ms. Rice didn’t deny that she had sought the name of a Trump transition official in intelligence reports, though she said she hadn’t done so “for any political purposes.” We’ll take this as confirmation that President Obama’s confidante was receiving summaries of surveilled foreign officials that included references to, or conversations with, Donald Trump’s team.
Ms. Rice insisted that unmasking was a routine part of her job and is necessary to understand the context of some intelligence reports. Perhaps, but why specifically did she need to see intel summaries dealing with Trump transition plans and policy intentions? And what was the context for seeking the name of any Trump official? Unmasking is typically the job of professional intelligence analysts, not senior White House officials.
Ms. Rice was also at pains to say that unmasking is not the same as leaking to the press and that she “leaked nothing to nobody, and never have.” But she hasn’t been accused of leaking the name of the Trump official.