by WorldTribune Staff, August 4, 2017
In an April letter to Obama Administration national security adviser Susan Rice, current national security adviser H.R. McMaster said Rice would have continued access to classified information.
President Donald Trump was not aware of the letter or McMaster’s decision, two senior West Wing officials and an intelligence official told Circa on condition of anonymity.
“I hereby waive the requirement that you must have a ‘need-to-know’ to access any classified information contained in items you ‘originated, reviewed, signed or received while serving,’ as National Security Adviser,” the letter said.
“This memo McMaster sent to Rice makes it so that she doesn’t have to prove a continuing ‘need-to-know’ to have access to classified information and in effect is a White House pardon of Susan Rice and could be used by other Obama officials who conducted targeted unmasking of the campaign as a defense,” said a senior West Wing official, who was shown the document by Circa and verified its authenticity.
Related: When Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton say ‘I take responsibility’, what are they talking about?, April 16, 2017
Trump administration sources say most continuing leaks from the White House are coming from National Security Council (NSC) staffers who previously served in the Obama administration.
Those individuals were responsible for politicizing U.S. national security policy, critics say.
WorldTribune.com columnist Sol Sanders wrote the following on April 16: “History tells us that Rice rattled off a false tale on several networks after the attack and death of four Americans – including the ambassador to Libya — in the Benghazi. Her detailed lie was that the deaths were the result of a semi-spontaneous anti-American demonstration occasioned by broadcasts from the then pro- Muslim Brotherhood broadcasts from radio Cairo that had spread throughout the Arab and Moslem world.”
The letter from McMaster to Rice also states that the “NSC will continue to work with you to ensure the appropriate security clearance documentation remains on file to allow you access to classified information.”
Rice has come under fire for her alleged role in “unmasking” Trump associates during the 2016 presidential election. Congressional investigators have issued subpoenas to the NSA, CIA and FBI seeking “unmasking” information related to Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.
Rice told PBS’s Judy Woodruff in March that she “knew nothing” about the unmasking of Trump associates. Weeks later on MSNBC, however, she admitted she sometimes sought the identities of Trump associates who communicated with foreigners.
Rice’s security clearance should have been limited to congressional testimony only or revoked until the end of the investigation, White House officials told Circa.
“Basically, this letter which was signed in the last week of April undercuts the president’s assertion that Susan Rice’s unmasking activity was inappropriate. In essence, anybody who committed a violation as she did would not be given access to classified information,” the senior West Wing official told Circa. “In fact, they would have their security clearance and right to ‘need-to-know’ stripped.”
“The point is, is that it lowers the bar for her.”