Obama’s NSA Intel Gathering on Trump, Aides ‘Tremendous Abuse of the System’
Did former President Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice demand details of the “unmasked” identities of those with whom then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and his aides spoke by phone? A former U.S. attorney claims she ordered intel agencies to reveal extensive information, an action one former deputy director for intelligence at the U.S. Central Command calls a “potential constitutional crisis.” Could this be the smoking gun that proves Trump was correct when he said the Obama administration spied on him?
By Sophia Meyer
Former President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice ordered spy agencies in the U.S. to produce “detailed spreadsheets” on the phone calls of Donald Trump and his aides beginning a year before the election, according to former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova.
DiGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group, “What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals [that] involved no illegal activity by anybody of the Trump associates, or anyone they were speaking with.
“In short,” concludes diGenova, “the only apparent illegal activity was the unmasking of the people in the calls.”
Multiple sources have claimed the intel requested by Ms. Rice was produced in a “highly organized operation.” Fox News reports the information was shared with the National Security Council (NSC), Department of Defense, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director James Brennan.
On March 2, Obama’s Deputy Defense Secretary Evelyn Farkas acknowledged in a TV interview she “was urging my former colleagues,” to “get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration,” in a “frantic desire” to preserve the intelligence.
The reaction of former NSC Senior Director Michael Doran to diGenova’s revelation was particularly severe: “Somebody blew a hole in the wall between national security secrets and partisan politics,” revealing “a stream of information that was supposed to be hermetically sealed from politics.”
“This is a leaking of signal intelligence,” Doran continued. “That’s a felony, and you can get 10 years for that. It is a tremendous abuse of the system. We’re not supposed to be monitoring American citizens. Bigger than the crime, is the breach of public trust.”
Former Deputy Director for Intelligence at the U.S. Central Command Col. James Waurishuk (Ret.), who also served at the NSC, expressed concern that “this is now using national intelligence assets and capabilities to spy on the elected, yet-to-be-seated president.”
He added: “We’re looking at a potential constitutional crisis from the standpoint that we used an extremely strong capability that’s supposed to be used to safeguard and protect the country. . . and we used it for political purposes by a sitting president. That takes on a new precedent.”
Waurishuk contends “many hands” throughout the Obama administration must have been involved to conduct such an extensive spying program. As he explains, “The surveillance initially is the responsibility of the National Security Agency (NSA) . . . . They have to abide by this guidance when one of the other agencies says, ‘We’re looking at this particular person, which we would like to unmask.’ ”
Waurishuk concluded: “It’s unbelievable, the level and degree of the administration to look for information on Donald Trump and his associates, his campaign team and his transition team. This is really, really serious stuff.”
In an interview with MSNBC, Ms. Rice denied she specifically asked for names, adding she only read what was given to her by intelligence officials. “I leaked nothing to nobody,” she insisted.
Originally from the Midwest, Sophia Meyer is a freelance writer and editor and avid gardener now settled on Florida’s Treasure Coast.