Yesterday, Mike Cernovich published explosive claims that Obama’s National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, has been behind the “unmasking” of certain Trump advisors in relation to their conversations with foreign officials under routine surveillance. He noted:
The White House Counsel’s office identified Rice as the person responsible for the unmasking after examining Rice’s document log requests. The reports Rice requested to see are kept under tightly-controlled conditions. Each person must log her name before being granted access to them.
Upon learning of Rice’s actions, H. R. McMaster dispatched his close aide Derek Harvey to Capitol Hill to brief Chairman Nunes.
“Unmasking” is the process of identifying individuals whose communications were caught in the dragnet of intelligence gathering. While conducting investigations into terrorism and other related crimes, intelligence analysts incidentally capture conversations about parties not subject to the search warrant. The identities of individuals who are not under investigation are kept confidential, for legal and moral reasons.
When I first read the piece last night it caught my attention due to the very specific claims made by Cernovich not just related to Susan Rice, but also Maggie Haberman of The New York Times. Considering Cernovich had just been labeled CEO of America’s “fake news” empire during a 60 Minutes expose, I considered it unlikely that’d he’d go out with such claims unless he felt pretty confident in their validity. Then today, Eli Lake of Bloomberg News confirmed the main part of this story, and added some additional nuggets.
White House lawyers last month learned that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The pattern of Rice’s requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like “U.S. Person One.”
The intelligence reports were summaries of monitored conversations — primarily between foreign officials discussing the Trump transition, but also in some cases direct contact between members of the Trump team and monitored foreign officials. One U.S. official familiar with the reports said they contained valuable political information on the Trump transition such as whom the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates on foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration.
Rice did not respond to an email seeking comment on Monday morning. Her role in requesting the identities of Trump transition officials adds an important element to the dueling investigations surrounding the Trump White House since the president’s inauguration.
Now here’s where it gets particularly problematic for Susan Rice.
Rice herself has not spoken directly on the issue of unmasking. Last month when she was asked on the “PBS NewsHour” about reports that Trump transition officials, including Trump himself, were swept up in incidental intelligence collection, Rice said: “I know nothing about this,” adding, “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today.”
Either Cernovich and Eli Lake are lying, or Susan Rice has a big fat problem. Perhaps 60 Minutes should do an expose on her penchant for her looseness with the truth, but I’m not holding my breath.
While all that’s interesting enough, I want to zero in on another claim made by Cernovich. He wrote:
This reporter has been informed that Maggie Haberman has had this story about Susan Rice for at least 48 hours, and has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.
This line caught my attention as much as the Rice claims when I first read it. This is a very specific claim, about a very specific reporter, and if true, would be another major embarrassment for corporate media.
While it appears Haberman herself has been quiet on the subject, The Daily Caller reported the following:
Cernovich said in his report Sunday that New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman knew about the Rice requests, and “has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.” A New York Times spokeswoman told The Daily Caller, “Cernovich’s claim regarding Maggie Haberman is 100 percent false.”
I don’t know what’s more embarrassing. The New York Times potentially sitting on this story, or that sources feel more comfortable going to a guy blogging his gym pants with scoops versus the “paper of record.”
In any event, this whole drama sets up the corporate media for more embarrassment going forward. All any source has to do to ruin 60 Minutes forever, is keep feeding Cernovich real news. We live in interesting times, and it’s only going to get more interesting.
Corporate media has no one to blame but themselves. It has completely failed the American public.
BY: Michael Krieger