IT’S HARD KEEPING YOUR STORY STRAIGHT, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’RE NOT OVERLY BRIGHT: Susan Rice gets tangled up in her own statements about ‘unmasking’ Trump officials.
First, Susan Rice denied any knowledge of unmasking the identities of Trump officials named in intelligence reports linked to the president’s transition team. Then, the former national security adviser admitted that unmasking occurred, while insisting it wasn’t for political purposes.
What will the Obama administration official say next? If her Tuesday interview with MSNBC offers any answer, it’s that Rice appears to shift her story in direct proportion to political pressure. . . .
Two weeks ago during a PBS interview, Rice denied having any knowledge of unmasked information. “I know nothing about this,” she told Judy Woodruff. “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today.”
Back then Rice responded to allegations that the Obama administration was surveilling members of Trump’s camp for strategic gain by pleading ignorance. Hedging her bets after new reports from Bloomberg and the Daily Caller, Rice now says that any unmasking of identities was “absolutely not for any political purposes, to spy, to expose or anything.”
Still, after contradicting her own statements, that distinction will do little to placate Republicans gunning for her head. And she’ll find little sympathy after failing to categorically deny that she was responsible for any of the unmasking. Already, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has called for Rice to appear before Congress to testify.
We need a lot of people under oath. Also, as Ron Fournier illustrates, it’s not just Republicans who don’t trust Rice after her Benghazi lies.