Former Obama administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice criticized President Donald Trump for having stored the details of his July 26 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on a secured server, describing it as him “abusing his office.”
To defend this caustic accusation, she then cited three conspiracy theories. Worse, roughly a minute later Rice turned around and admitted that the Obama administration had also sometimes stored the details of its calls on secured servers. Except she excused the Obama administration’s behavior on the basis that the administration had a legitimate reason for its actions.
She made the remarks during an appearance at the Texas Tribune Festival.
“Obviously, in normal times, there’s utility in the communications between foreign leaders having a measure of confidentiality,” her remarks began. “These are not normal times. What is unprecedented is the president of the United States who’s abusing his office. That’s what’s unprecedented.”
That is an unsubstantiated opinion, not a fact.
“I care more about what we don’t yet know about what the president of the United States has done behind closed doors that run counter to U.S. national interests,” she continued, referring to conspiracy theories that the president is secretly working against American interests.
“And this Ukrainian example is the perfect case. And recall the other problem. The other problem is, according to the whistleblower report, that instead of this transcript — which by the way we have not seen the full, verbatim transcript — what they did,” she continued.
Again she referenced another conspiracy theory — this one being that the transcript of the July 26 call with Zelensky that was released last week is somehow incomplete. That’s not true.
“Instead of storing it in the normal system which is protected and classified, even though there was no classified substance in that actual discussion, instead of putting it where it normally resides, they hid it on a very highly sensitive, highly compartmented server that very few people in the U.S. Government have access to in order to bury it,” she concluded.
That again is another conspiracy theory.
Multiple media outlets have confirmed that the Trump administration has been storing details of the president’s phone calls with foreign leaders on secure servers since 2017 because of the disturbing abundance of leaks to the media.
“The White House has taken extraordinary steps over the past two years to block details of President Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders from becoming public, following embarrassing disclosures early in his administration that enraged the president and created a sense of paranoia among his top aides,” The Washington Post reported last Thursday.
“The two calls in early 2017, with leaders from Australia and from Mexico, leaked early in Trump’s administration, and sources said the procedure to store them quickly changed — many calls between the president and world leaders instead were stored in a secure server to avoid leaks,” ABC News confirmed a day later.
Another key part of the whistleblower complaint just discredited. Trump administration changed foreign-leader call-storage methods after leaks – ABC News – https://t.co/6saBVXLl1N
— Ted Davis (@tedsthetruth) September 28, 2019
It was at this point in the discussion at the Texas Tribune Festival on Friday that the interviewer asked Rice, “How often did you guys [in the Obama administration] move over the conversations to that kind of server?”
“We never moved them over unless they were legitimately in the contents classified,” Rice replied without explaining what standard the Obama administration had used to reach such a classification determination. “But it’s rare that a presidential conversation would be classified to that highest level.”
“It’s not impossible. But it’s very rare. Even when they are two leaders discussing classified information. Here’s a case where there was nothing classified, and it was moved to the most secure, sensitive server,” she added.
In other words, though the Obama administration sometimes stored phone call information on secured servers, its actions were OK because she says so.
This has been a constant refrain from the left. Earlier this year, for instance, a left-wing CNN analyst admitted that Obama had also separated illegal alien families but excused his separations while at the same time blasting Trump for doing the same thing. The general consensus among the left appears to be that what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander.
Conservatives on social media responded to Rice’s “it’s OK when we do it” spiel by calling her a hypocrite:
@AmbassadorRice You blast our President for doing the exact same things obama did when you worked for him?! Dear Lord yet another ugly hypocrite showing her true colors!
— Kristi (@butterflysecret) September 29, 2019
Total Hypocrite! Obamabot Susan Rice blasts Trump over secure server, similar to the one that Obama used https://t.co/lEST5UrQ9d
— EJ ?? ⛳️ (@NCHornet) September 29, 2019
Susan Rice blasts Trump over secure server, asked if Obama ever used similar systemhttps://t.co/YHT270269y
UNBELIEVABLE level of hypocrisy.
— Jose Kings (@joselkings) September 29, 2019
Some also drew attention to the indisputable fact that the Obama administration was labeled as “one of the most secretive” administrations in American history. By whom? By The Washington Post!
“The Obama administration hasn’t walked its talk,” the Post’s notoriously left-wing columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote during Obama’s last year in office. “It has set new records for stonewalling or rejecting Freedom of Information requests. And it has used an obscure federal act to prosecute leakers.”
“Promising transparency and criticizing ignorance, but delivering secrecy and opacity?” the piece eventually concludes. “That doesn’t serve the public or the democracy. And that’s deeply uncool.”
Yeah, but according to Susan Rice, Obama did it, and he’s soooo cool.
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