Susan Rice says Obama admin. was 'absolutely' not spying on Trump campaign
Rice made some unmasking requests during the 2016 election cycle but says Obama admin. wasn't spying on Trump's campaign
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who "unmasked" officials in the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, said Tuesday that President Trump is wrong when he accuses the Obama administration of spying on his campaign in 2016.
"Absolutely no, it did not happen. That is false. That is another lie designed to deflect from the president's own very bizarre relationship with Russia; to distract from the much validated reality that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump," Rice said during a discussion with Washington Post Live.
Unmasking is a term used by the intelligence community that refers to legally revealing the identity of a U.S. citizen whose communications are being monitored to learn more about that person and the case.
"President Trump is in some sort of fever dream about the Obama administration when all we tried to do was to execute, despite the Trump administration or incoming administration's reluctance, the most responsible transition we possibly could have presided over," she also said.
Rice, one of Joe Biden's potential running mates, said the National Security Council prepared over 100 individual briefing papers for the incoming-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Recently-released declassified documents show that Obama administration officials unmasked Flynn during the 2016 presidential transition period. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying about his communication with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. but the Justice Department in recent weeks asked the federal courts to drop the case.
"I spent 12 hours in four separate sessions briefing my successor on all of the important issues that might arise or that were on the table ranging from Russia to China to pandemic preparedness," Rice continued Tuesday. "And so our effort was despite the bizarre nature of the election, despite President Trump's strange behavior, before, during and after, our approach was to do our utmost in a responsible handoff from one administration to the other, just as President Bush had done for Barack Obama."
Rice reportedly explained to House investigators in 2017 why she requested to unmask Trump campaign officials during the 2016 election. She attributed the requests to seeking information on the reason the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York meeting with senior Trump campaign officials in 2016.