Republican leaders are calling on Obama’s former National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, to testify in front of Congress—amid allegations that she “unmasked” the names of Trump aides in U.S. surveillance documents.
Rand Paul, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, fumed about how an Obama official could so easily use intelligence for political purposes–and said that Rice should be under subpoena.
“For years, both progressives and libertarians have been complaining about these backdoor searches,” Paul explained. “It’s not that we’re searching maybe one foreign leader and who they talk to; we search everything in the whole world. There were reports a couple of years ago that all of Italy’s phone calls were absorbed in a one month period of time. We were getting Merkel’s phone calls; we were getting everybody’s phone calls. But by rebound we are collecting millions of Americans phone calls. If you want to look at an American’s phone call or listen to it, you should have to have a warrant, the old fashioned way in a real court where both sides get represented.”
“…[B]oth myself and [Democratic Senator] Ron Wyden have been warning about these back door searches for years and that they could be politicized,” Paul added. “The facts will come out with Susan Rice. But I think she ought to be under subpoena. She should be asked did you talk to the president about it? Did President Obama know about this?
Paul also vindicated President Donald Trump’s controversial tweet from early last month, when he accused Obama of “wiretapping” Trump Tower: “So this is actually, eerily similar to what Trump accused them of which is eavesdropping on conversations for political reasons.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina took a similar stance on Fox News.
“I’m not going to prejudge here, but I think every American should know whether or not the national security adviser to President Obama was involved in unmasking Trump transition figures for political purposes,” Graham said. “It should be easy to figure out, and we will.”
Perhaps thinking of Rice’s widely-criticized lies about Benghazi just days after the attack, Graham added: “When it comes to Susan Rice, you need to verify, not trust.”
“Our intelligence surveillance activities are obviously very controversial,” Cotton said. “They’ve been more so over the last four years since the Edward Snowden disclosures. The last thing we need are political operatives in the White House fooling around with intelligence to make it harder to pass the laws we need to keep America safe.”
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas said similar things, during an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt:
“Our intelligence surveillance activities are obviously very controversial,” Cotton told Hewitt. “They’ve been more so over the last four years since the Edward Snowden disclosures. The last thing we need are political operatives in the White House fooling around with intelligence to make it harder to pass the laws we need to keep America safe.”
Despite the heavy criticism from Republican leaders, Rice continues to deny that she did anything wrong—and the liberal mainstream media continues to dismiss the story as partisan spin.