McMaster thinks Susan Rice did nothing wrong: report
National security adviser H.R. McMaster has reportedly determined that Susan Rice, who served in his role during the Obama administration, did not do anything wrong amid accusations of “unmasking” the identities of Trump associates.
Republican lawmakers are trying to conclude whether Rice revealed the identities of Trump transition team members that were redacted in intelligence reports. Bloomberg on Thursday cited two intelligence officials saying that McMaster had found no evidence of wrongdoing.
The news comes the same day Circa reported that McMaster sent Rice a letter at the end of April informing her that she would keep her security clearance and that the National Security Council would waive her “need to know” requirement.
“This decision is based on my determination: (1) that such access is consistent with the national security interests of the United States, and (2) that appropriate steps have been taken to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure or compromise and to ensure that the information you access is safeguarded in a manner consistent with E.O. 13526,” McMaster wrote in the letter, referring to an Obama-era executive order detailing how classified information is to be treated.
Rice’s classified testimony about the alleged unmasking of Trump associates was delayed last month as the House Intelligence Committee reportedly sought to have former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power also testify.
President Trump, during an April interview, claimed Rice may have committed a crime by requesting the names of Trump associates be unmasked, though the president did not provide proof at the time.
McMaster’s decision comes as he is working to purge the National Security Council of political appointees and those loyal to his predecessor, Michael Flynn.
Flynn was fired after he misled Vice President Pence about his contact with Russian officials before Trump took office.
A special counsel and multiple congressional committees are probing Moscow’s interference in last year’s presidential election and any possible collusion with the Trump campaign. But the White House says the real story is illegal leaks and politically minded unmasking at the hands of Obama officials.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.