Damning: Redacted Parts of Susan Rice’s “CYA” Memo Declassified
It is not a new revelation that on the same day that President Donald Trump was being sworn in, the then-current national security adviser, Susan Rice, rushed back to her office to write out one last memo before turning her office over to Michael Flynn. Strangely enough, this memo was about a meeting that took place in the Oval Office two weeks earlier. It chronicled a meeting Rice had with President Obama, then-FBI Director James Comey, Vice President Joe Biden, and several other national intelligence luminaries. The point of Rice’s last-second memo? Apparently, to cover her own ass, seeing as how it was in that meeting that Obama advised her to lie to her successor.
Here’s what the known and released parts of the memo said:
On January 5, following a briefing by IC [intelligence community] leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential election, President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present.
President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities “by the book”. The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.
From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.
This was already a bizarre and confounding memo. But now, thanks to the declassification efforts of current Director of National security Richard Grenell, we have a paragraph that was redacted in the original version:
Director Comey affirmed that he is processing “by the book” as it relates to law enforcement. From a national security perspective, Comey said he does have some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian ambassador Kislyak. Comey said that could be an issue as it relates to sharing sensitive information. President Obama asked if Comey was saying that the NSC should not pass sensitive information related to Russia to Flynn. Comey replied “potentially.” He added that he has no indication that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak, but he noted that “the level of communication is unusual.”
The President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Comey said he would.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this new material: We see how interwoven Comey was when it came to the “national security” side of things. Considering the FBI’s pretense for a criminal investigation into the Trump campaign, we’re already into improper territory.
It’s also interesting to note how flimsy the reasons are for lying to Flynn. He spoke to the Russian ambassador too “frequently”? Who is to say? None of this makes any sense…unless you have a national security team that actually believes the nonsense written in the Steele dossier.
It’s obvious that, whatever Obama was interested in keeping secret from Flynn, it has less to do with Russia as an international adversary and more to do with the Russia investigation, which is a whole ‘nother ball of wax. Rice knew this; that’s why she was careful to write this memo on her way out, knowing there might come uncomfortable questions about her actions in the future. She wants the world to know: Hey, I’m just doing as I was told by the President of the United States.