In case you didn't know, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham, intrepid defenders of Trump treason -- er, our democracy, wrote to former national security advisor Susan Rice, expressing their concerns about an email she sent to herself on Inauguration Day 2017.
They wrote: “It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email” about a conversation involving “Obama and his interactions with the FBI“ re Russia.
Because they're idiots? Or simply willing handmaidens to a treasonous president? We report, you decide!
Here's the email:
So Rachel Maddow introduced this segment last night with a description of how the job of national security advisor works -- or at least, used to work: And then she talks about the fascinating and disturbing situation in which Susan Rice found herself -- which Grassley and Graham of course must already understand.
"Imagine you are national security advisor to the president of the United States. The idea is stressful. You run the whole gigantic security counsel and meet with the president every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Your job is to make sure the president has everything he or she needs to make the best decisions possible on all sorts of national security matters including sensitive ones there are.
"You're in charge of a lot of different streams of information. You're in a really powerful, really stressful job already and then the 2016 presidential election happens. Our best allies, we have a trusting, collaborative relationship, our intelligence allies start reporting to us over a period of months a whole bunch of different instances of people associated with one of the presidential campaigning having contacts with Russians, with Russian officials, with people linked to Russian president Vladimir Putin."
She describes Rice's access to multiple streams of intelligence in which Russian officials are talking with each other about their contacts with the Trump campaign. At the same time, the U.S. Intelligence community is recognizing that Russia seems to be interfering in our election in a deliberate, organized way --and also trying to hurt the Clinton campaign.
"So imagine you're the national security advisor while this is happening. You know all of this is happening. You have access to this intel. The election ends. The side Russia was trying to help, how do you responsibly prepare to help that campaign transition itself from a presidential campaign to the next presidential administration? How do you, as national security advisor, think responsibly about how you're going to help them take custody of the nation's most sensitive intelligence, including intelligence on this matter about how they maybe got to the White House in the first place.
"II mean, the president decided, the outgoing president, President Obama decided after the 2016 election that the U.S. government had to take action against Russia, had to punish Russia for the way they interfered in our election. including hacking into state voting databases and the rest of it. The Obama administration decided they would kick out several dozen Russians working here for the Russian government and seize Russian diplomatic compounds that the U.S. government believed were being used by intelligence purposes.
"And as they were contemplating these actions against Russia for what they had done with this interference into the election, it seems clear that the Obama administration thought they know what to expect from Russia when they punished Russia in this matter but also seems clear they really didn't know what to expect from the incoming administration that had just won this election," she said.
In this totally unprecedented situation, Maddow said, Obama and his senior officials had to decide what's best for national security and how to handle this responsibly. They decided to go ahead with sanctions against Russia, but not tell the incoming Trump administration.
"They took that shove at Russia in December. They are expecting they know he is mad. The Obama administration announced on December 29th, on December 30th, Putin said there is no response from Russia. 'We're disappointed but not going to do anything in response.' That is out of keeping what happened with the United States and Russia, not just recently but forever. That is not what the Obama administration was hoping to happen. They have to figure out why did that go down that way? What explains that unusual unprecedented response from Putin to what we did?
"If you're the national security advisor to the president of the United States, the outgoing president of the United States, in this case, you don't have to just wonder. You can actually find out what happened there because you have access to all of these streams of intelligence and it turns out, yeah, the FBI had been listening in when Ambassador Kislyak was told Russia is losing their compounds, including the super cute one that he really liked in Maryland and having to shut down the mansion they like in San Francisco, three dozen Russians and their families are being sent home.
"The FBI was listening in when he made a call after he came out of the State Department meeting. What he did after he got that news on December 29th? He walked out and boop, boop, boop, called Mike Flynn on vacation with his wife in the Dominican Republic on a beach.
"The FBI was listening to his conversation. Mike Flynn, the incoming national security advisor, told Kislyak what happened. 'We'll talk care of the problems.' That was his message to Kislyak, so we're told. If you're the national security advisor to President Obama, how do you deal with this information? This is the transition, which means you're supposed to be transitioning the new guys in. Your counterpart for the incoming administration is actively working to undermine the intent and effect of U.S. government sanctions against Russia, through secret communications with the Russian government that he is not coordinating with the U.S. government or State Department and he's not disclosing them to anybody.
"Flynn and the White House would go on to deny that these conversations ever happened or that these were the topics Flynn and Kislyak ever discussed. At this point, you are supposed to be briefing the guy who gets your job, the new guy whose coming in for your job. You're supposed to be making sure there is a seamless transition and the new guy is totally up to speed.
"Well, given what Susan Rice knew about Michael Flynn during the transition, what is she supposed to do? How is she supposed to make a decision? Hypothetically, let's say U.S. Intelligence has got spies working for us inside the embassies in Washington, would names of those spies? They are working at the embassy who is working for the one he engages in secret conversations about undermining the U.S. government. Give him the name of our spies? If there is a spy in his office? Will you tell Flynn? This all happened Christmastime over the New Year, into early January, right? After the election."
Get it, Chuck? Lindsey? Can you connect those giant dots? I knew you could!