Whistleblower Mania is folding faster than a house of cards.
Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice, unintentionally and begrudgingly, threw cold water on yet another allegation. The story we’ve been hearing is that White House officials were so worried about this phone call that they saved it on a secret server.
Speaking at the Texas Tribunal Festival on Friday night, Rice said:
What [the Trump administration] did instead of storing it in the normal system, which is protected and classified, even though there was no classified substance in that actual discussion. Instead of putting it where it normally resides, they hid it on a very highly sensitive, highly compartmented server that very few people in the U.S. government have access to in order to bury it.
The interviewer asked Rice how often Obama moved conversations onto that type of a server. Rice replied that they never moved them over unless they were, in their substance, classified. Asked again, Rice said, “It’s rare for a conversation to be classified to that highest level, it’s not impossible, it’s very rare — even when two leaders are discussing classified information.”
Ultimately, she acknowledged that the Obama administration did sometimes use that server.
.@AmbassadorRice: “Normally there is a full, verbatim transcript” of calls like Trump’s w/ the Ukraine president.
Says he tried to “bury” it on a more secure server, but acknowledges the Obama Admin. sometimes did the same. pic.twitter.com/B6zZNbZsTG
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 27, 2019
The use of this server has become common practice in the Trump administration for a valid reason. Early in his presidency, the contents of Trump’s conversations with leaders from Mexico and Australia were leaked to the media.
ABC News reported:
The two calls in early 2017, with leaders from Australia and from Mexico, leaked early in Trump’s administration, and sources said the procedure to store them quickly changed — many calls between the president and world leaders instead were stored in a secure server to avoid leaks. The sources who talked to ABC News did caution that it’s unclear if the calls being stored were done so for national security or for political concerns.
One source said it became “basically standard operating procedure” for many of the conversations Trump has had during his time in office.
Rather than the Trump administration panicking over this conversation and trying to bury it as the press had characterized it, it was business as usual. And, Susan Rice, as hard as she tried not to admit it, indicated that sometimes they used this secret server as well.
Another one bites the dust. In the last three days, many of the whistleblower’s claims and the interpretations spun by the eager liberal commentators have been blown up.
First, we were told there were eight references to Biden during President Trump’s July 25th conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Turns out there were three. Next, the media breathlessly reported that a ‘promise’ had been made, there was a quid pro quo. There was no promise, no quid pro quo.
My colleague Nick Arama reported (here) two more whistleblower claims which have been debunked. The complaint said that Counselor to the State Department Ulrich Brechbuhl was on the Trump/Zelensky call. He was not.
The document also claimed that “by mid-May, U.S. diplomat Kurt Volker sought to “contain the damage” from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s outreach to Ukraine.” Text messages from Volker to Giuliani have since shown that to be false. Even ABC News has acknowledged this. They reported, “The State Department has confirmed that Volker put Giuliani in touch with Zelensky adviser Andriy Yermak at Yermak’s request.”
Last night The Federalist’s Sean Davis reported that days before the whistleblower submitted his complaint, the intelligence community “secretly eliminated the requirement that whistleblower complaints contain only direct, first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing allegations.” This change allowed the whistleblower to file a complaint based on hearsay information.
Right about now, Republicans could use a nice, devastating Inspector General report showing FISA abuse by the FBI. It’s been two weeks since DOJ Inspector General submitted his report to the DOJ for classification. Hopefully, it will be released this week. President Trump, as well as the rest of us, need a win.