CNN’s Cuomo: Rice story is ‘fake scandal’

CNN’s Cuomo: Rice story is ‘fake scandal’
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CNN anchor Chris Cuomo told viewers on Tuesday that the controversy surrounding former national security adviser Susan Rice is “another fake scandal being peddled by right-wing media.”

Cuomo offered the remarks about Rice’s reported request to know the identities of President Trump transition team members mentioned in intelligence briefings during CNN’s “New Day.”

Rice has been accused of unmasking the Trump transition members.

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“So President Trump wants you to believe that he is the victim of a ‘crooked scheme,' " Cuomo began. “Those are his words. And here are our words: There is no evidence of any wrongdoing."

“And, in fact, if anything the [national security adviser] asking for identities was a reflection of exactly how much traffic there was involving Trump people and foreign players,” Cuomo continued. 

“The White House blasting the press for not reporting on another fake scandal being peddled by right-wing media.”

Cuomo's commentary echoes that of CNN host Don Lemon and network national security correspondent Jim Sciutto from Monday night. 

Lemon told his audience that his show “will not insult your intelligence” by focusing too much on the story.

“Let’s be very clear about this: There is no evidence whatsoever that the Trump team … was spied on illegally. There is no evidence that backs up the president’s original claim,” Lemon said.

“We will not insult your intelligence by pretending otherwise, nor will we aid and abet the people who are trying to misinform you, the American people, by creating a diversion.”

Lemon's comments were largely similar to those of Sciutto, who earlier used similar language around the Rice story being “a distraction.”

“The idea that Ambassador Rice improperly sought the identities of Americans is false. There is nothing unusual about making these requests when serving as a senior national security official, whether Democrat or Republican,” said Sciutto, a former member of the Obama State Department until 2013. 

“This appears to be a story largely ginned up, partly as a distraction from this larger investigation,” Sciutto concluded.

Bloomberg News’s Eli Lake first broke the story about Rice.