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Declassified Susan Rice email conflicts with her statement to Congress from 2018
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Declassified Susan Rice email conflicts with her statement to Congress from 2018

Rice needs to clear up these questions

A newly declassified email from former Obama official Susan Rice appears to conflict with the statement her lawyer gave to Congress about that email in 2018.

The email was sent by Rice to herself on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration in order to document her notes about a meeting of Obama officials about incoming national security adviser Mike Flynn.

The newly unredacted portion of the email involves the warning from former FBI Director James Comey that Flynn had an unusual number of interactions with a Russian ambassador.

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.'

But in a statement sent in 2018 from her attorney Kathryn Ruemmler to Congress, Rice indicated that she had no knowledge about any investigation by the FBI into Trump officials colluding with Russian officials.

While serving as National Security Advisor, Ambassador Rice was not briefed on the existence of any FBI investigation into allegations of collusion between Mr. Trump's associates and Russia, and she later learned of the fact of this investigation from Director Comey's subsequent public testimony.

The letter goes on to claim that Rice didn't know about any FISA applications made during the investigation into alleged collusion:

Ambassador Rice was not informed of any FISA applications sought by the FBI in its investigation, and she only learned of them from press reports after leaving office.

This appears to conflict with the declassified portion of her self-email that shows Comey discussed the communications that the FBI had obtained between Flynn and the Russian ambassador.

Rice responds

Rice released a statement through her spokesperson Erin Pelton in response to the release of the declassified email.

The statement denies that the meeting had anything to do with an FBI investigation and decries "dishonest accusations" making such claims.

Ambassador Rice's email makes clear that no discussion of law enforcement matters or investigations took place, despite dishonest accusations to the contrary. The email clearly states that President Obama stressed that he was "not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective."

The statement goes on to ask that the director of national intelligence release the "unredacted transcripts of all Kislyak-Flynn calls."

Anything else?

In the wake of the release of the declassified email, a resurfaced video of Rice's claims was circulated on social media to further corroborate the claim that she had been dishonest about the unmasking of Trump officials. The video comes from an interview on PBS in March 2017.

"During the transition, after President Trump, uh, had been elected, he and the people around him may have been caught up in surveillance of foreign individuals and that their identities may have been disclosed," said PBS host Judy Woodruff. "Do you know anything about this?"

"I know nothing about this," claimed Rice.

Here's the video of Rice from PBS in 2017:

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