April 3, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement reacting to separate reports that former National Security Advisor Susan Rice requested the unmasking of the identities of Trump campaign and transition team officials incidentally collected by intelligence agencies, per Bloomberg View’s Eli Lake, and that the overall surveillance dates back “for up to a year before [Trump] took office,” per Fox News’ Adam Housley:
“Susan Rice only had one boss, and that was former President Barack Obama. Only Obama could have authorized these unmasking requests to the intelligence agencies of the Trump transition and campaign by Rice. That those unmasking requests were fulfilled by intelligence agencies without any readily apparent intelligence value and reportedly went back to Jan. 2016, before there was ever any questions to do with Russia, gives a clear indication that this was surveillance of the opposition party by the Obama administration. Even after the election, this was still going on, with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes revealing non-Russia-related surveillance against the Trump team was occurring.
“Coupled with the outing of surveillance of the identity then-incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn Jan. 12 in the Washington Post, revealing his conversation with the Russian Ambassador to create the appearance of collusion where there was none — a felony that Flynn was the victim of — these actions have severely damaged U.S. national security.
“Flynn’s outing undermined the collection of not just Russian sources but more broadly any diplomats in the U.S., degrading capacity, throwing away years of potential gathering. Plus, this whole ordeal has absolutely undermined diplomatic relations with Russia, making it more difficult and dangerous to achieve cooperation on critical proliferation concerns in Iran and North Korea, again undermining security. All to damage a political opponent in the opposition party, during the election, and then to cripple the incoming Trump administration, and in the process its ability to protect national security. Like Rice, whoever outed Flynn has a boss who wanted this information in the public domain.
“This raises the question of which other campaigns were surveilled in 2016, including Democrats’ campaigns like Bernie Sanders, because reportedly the surveillance began before a single vote had been cast.
“Rice should be put under oath by Congressional Intelligence and Judiciary committees to get to the bottom of this affair.
“In the meantime, Attorney General Jeff Sessions should immediately launch an investigation into U.S. intelligence agencies and former White House officials, and freeze any and all potential deletion of intelligence files, including those related to the unconstitutional, inappropriate surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition. The actions outlined are a direct threat to the Constitution and the basic liberties of the American people, threatening the essence of our nation, and undermining the consent of the governed.”
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