Susan Rice, the former national security advisor under President Barack Obama, adamantly denied that she leaked intelligence reports on her successor, Michael Flynn.
After Monday’s bombshell report from Bloomberg View’s Eli Lake led some to wonder if Susan Rice had leaked damaging information to reporters about Flynn, Rice was forced to go on camera to deny that she used any of the data collected in the reports for political purpose.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Rice asserted that she did not leak Flynn’s name, nor participate in a politically motivated campaign to collect information on Trump or members of his team.
WATCH: Susan Rice insists “I leaked nothing to nobody” https://t.co/kAsbu4VJDN— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 4, 2017
In the leaked reports, Flynn was identified as having contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, before and after the election, that was deemed inappropriate. Flynn was said to have discussed easing possible U.S. sanctions against Russia with Kislyak. Since those talks happened prior to Trump assuming office and while Flynn was still a private citizen, the contact was a possible violation of the Logan Act.
As reported by the Inquisitr, Flynn was forced to resign, after only 24 days on the job, when it was discovered that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his conversations with Kislyak.
While denying that she had leaked Flynn’s name, Rice admitted that she requested the unmasking of some American names, which included members of Trump’s camp, to better understand the intelligence contained in the reports.
It was only two weeks ago that Susan Rice appeared to deny any involvement in or knowledge of unmasking of a U.S. citizen.
As Rice was preparing to make an appearance on PBS NewsHour, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was in the midst of a press conference on the White House grounds. The California Republican revealed that information had been incidentally collected on members of Trump’s transition team. He qualified his claims by adding that he believed the information had been collected in a legal manner.
While speaking to Judy Woodruff, Rice appeared to say that she was unaware of information being collected on Trump and his team during the transition period.
PBS releases full transcript of Susan Rice Q&A 'people have distorted,' but Brit Hume's not buying it https://t.co/k1Kpx7WZg3— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) April 4, 2017
Following Rice’s MSNBC appearance, multiple media outlets pointed out that the new interview appeared to contradict her PBS interview.
Rice tweeted a clarification that her remarks pertained to being unaware of what reports Nunes was referring to in his press conference.
I said I did not know what reports Nunes was referring to when he spoke to the press. I still do not. But the full HPSCI needs to know. https://t.co/V1xyRNRyJK— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) April 4, 2017
She may have the opportunity to further explain herself. Fox News reported that Senate Republicans, including Kentucky’s Rand Paul, are now calling for Rice to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
Rand Paul calls unmasking report a 'smoking gun,' says Susan Rice must testify under oath https://t.co/Z8AkYuZqYO— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 4, 2017
This is not the first scandal to plague Susan Rice.
Rice was considered the frontrunner to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state following Obama’s re-election in 2012. However, Republicans, in both the House and Senate, called for Rice to remove herself from consideration for the top diplomatic spot over her involvement in misleading the American public about events that led to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which claimed the lives of four Americans in 2012.
While appearing on several news shows, including ABC’s This Week, Rice, then the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said that the attacks were not pre-meditated, but instead a reaction to an anti-Islamic film.
As the Independent reported at the time, officials inside the State Department disagreed with Rice.
“Senior officials are increasingly convinced, however, that the ferocious nature of the Benghazi attack, in which rocket-propelled grenades were used, indicated it was not the result of spontaneous anger due to the video, called Innocence of Muslims. Patrick Kennedy, Under-Secretary at the State Department, said he was convinced the assault was planned due to its extensive nature and the proliferation of weapons.”
Two years later, Rice found herself in hot water for praising Bowe Bergdahl.
Bergdahl was an Army soldier who disappeared in June 2009. His release was secured as part of a highly controversial prisoner exchange, where Obama released five Guantanamo Bay detainees in exchange for Bergdahl. Questions still linger about whether Bergdahl was captured or abandoned his post. He is still facing a court-martial and is expected to appear in court in May.
After Bergdahl’s release, Rice said he had served with “honor and distinction,” but days later, Rice went on CNN to clarify and defend her statement.
“I realize there has been lots of discussion and controversy around this, but what I was referring to was the fact that this was a young man who volunteered to serve his country in uniform at a time of war. That, in and of itself, is a very honorable thing.”
Based on Susan Rice’s history of contradicting, confusing, and sometimes misleading statements, no one should be surprised to see Nunes add Rice to the House Intelligence Committee’s witness list within the next month.
[Featured Image by Charles Dharapak/AP Images]