**Written by Doug Powers
Start the countdown to Susan Rice blaming this on a video:
Multiple sources tell Fox News that Susan Rice, former national security adviser under then-President Barack Obama, requested to unmask the names of Trump transition officials caught up in surveillance.
The unmasked names, of people associated with Donald Trump, were then sent to all those at the National Security Council, some at the Defense Department, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-CIA Director John Brennan – essentially, the officials at the top, including former Rice deputy Ben Rhodes.
The names were part of incidental electronic surveillance of candidate and President-elect Trump and people close to him, including family members, for up to a year before he took office.
On CNN, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon, citing the cable net’s national security reporter, dismissed the whole thing as ridiculous:
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo told viewers on Tuesday that the controversy surrounding former National Security Adviser Susan Rice is “another fake scandal being peddled by right-wing media.”
Cuomo offered the remarks about Rice’s reported request to know the identities of Trump transition team members mentioned in intelligence briefings during CNN’s “New Day.”
Rice has been accused of unmasking the Trump transition members.
“So President Trump wants you to believe that he is the victim of a ‘crooked scheme,” Cuomo began. “Those are his words. And here are our words: there is no evidence of any wrongdoing.
Cuomo’s commentary echoes that of CNN host Don Lemon and network national security correspondent Jim Sciutto from Monday night.
Lemon told his audience that his show “will not insult your intelligence” by focusing too much on the story.
The CNN reporter Cuomo and Lemon cited has an impeccable source close to the Obama administration: Himself:
“The idea that Ambassador Rice improperly sought the identities of Americans is false. There is nothing unusual about making these requests when serving as a senior national security official, whether Democrat or Republican,” said Sciutto, a former member of the Obama State Department until 2013.
The denial came from… somebody:
Also, his best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who said Rice didn’t do anything wrong.
And if you need more convincing, Marie Harf vouched for Rice. I’m sold!
If you’re keeping score at home, this all started out with Democrats and mainstream media (pardon the redundancy) mocking Trump for claiming members of his transition team were “wiretapped” during Obama’s last months in office, and it’s now at the “any surveillance that happened was totally legal” stage:
On ABC’s Good Morning America, White House correspondent Cecilia Vega didn’t even pretend to report the new development objectively. After anchor Amy Robach noted the uproar among conservatives to the report, Vega agreed, noting some were calling it “the smoking gun.” But Vega quickly shot down this argument, saying “It is not that.”
Definitely so. In fact, some of president’s conservatives allies are applauding this, they are calling this the smoking gun, that proves his wiretapping claims. It is not that Amy. A former aide close to Rice doesn’t deny that she did, in fact, seek out these names but they say she did nothing illegal or nothing out of the purview of her job. Her former job as national security advisor, Amy.
Just like ABC, NBC also relied on an unnamed source to defend Rice.
White House correspondent Kristen Welker’s report on Today downplayed the news, passively connecting Rice to the report, and arguing it was “common practice” for security officials to do what she did.
Separately, Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice is in the spotlight this morning amid reports she requested the identities of U.S. citizens in intelligence reports. That wound up connecting to some of Donald Trump’s transition and campaign officials. Trump administration says Rice crossed the line by doing it. Now Rice hasn’t commented publicly, but former Obama officials are pushing back and argue it is common practice to seek identities in the course of trying to understand intelligence reports.
The liberal media narrative travels fast.
**Written by Doug Powers