Article by Bryan Howard
May 21, 2020
Former national security adviser, Susan Rice’s infamous ‘by the book’ email over the January 5th, 2017 Oval Office meeting with Obama over spying on Michael Flynn was released on Wednesday. Now reports are coming out that Rice was directed by Obama to write the email.
The new reports are suggesting Rice’s team confirmed that the Obama White House directed her to write the email on January 20th, 2017. The email is written two weeks after the January 5th meeting.
Fox News correspondent Gillian Turner tweeted, “#BREAKING: @AmbassadorRice’s team confirms to #FoxNews that she was directed by White House Counsel to write the Jan 20, 2017 memorandum documenting an Oval Office meeting in which President Obama & National Security officials discussed #MichaelFlynn.”
#BREAKING: @AmbassadorRice’s team confirms to #FoxNews that she was directed by White House Counsel to write the Jan 20, 2017 memorandum documenting an Oval Office meeting in which President Obama & National Security officials discussed #MichaelFlynn.
— Gillian Turner (@GillianHTurner) May 20, 2020
Rice’s email stated, “The meeting took place on January 5, 2017, and involved Rice, Obama, and Vice President Biden, the administration’s top political hierarchy on national-security matters, along with Obama’s top law-enforcement and counterintelligence officials, deputy attorney general Sally Yates (soon formally to take the acting AG role she was already performing), and FBI director James Comey,” former U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy wrote Wednesday. “Prior redactions had already demonstrated that the meeting’s central purpose was to discuss the rationale for withholding intelligence about Russia from the incoming Trump national-security team.”
Below is the entire email that was declassified,
On January 5, following a briefing by IC leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election, President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present.
President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities “by the book”. The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.
From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.
Director Comey affirmed that he is proceeding “by the book” as it relates to law enforcement. From a national security perspective, Comey said he does have some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. Comey said that could be an issue as it relates to sharing sensitive information. President Obama asked if Comey was saying that the NSC should not pass sensitive information related to Russia to Flynn. Comey replied ”potentially.” He added that he has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak, but he noted that “the level of communication is unusual.”
The President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Comey said he would.
#Flynn Triangulate records: Rice “by the book” email memorializes 1/5/2017 WH meeting but time stamp 1/20. Acting AG Yates tells FBI she first learned Flynn calls during same meeting. Comey transcript “..in the course of that conversation, the President mentioned this(redacted.) pic.twitter.com/jHoCl37irm
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) May 19, 2020
Attorney General William Barr has destroyed the narrative that Michael Flynn’s phone call was illegal or wrong.
“That call, there was nothing wrong with it whatever,” Barr said. “In fact, it was laudable. He– and it was nothing inconsistent with the Obama administration’s policies. And it was in U.S. interests. He was saying to the Russians, you know, ‘Don’t escalate.’ And they asked him if he remembered saying that, and he said he didn’t remember that.”