So, What’s Up Susan?

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

Over recent days we’ve seen reports Susan Rice repeatedly asked to unmask the identities of Trump transition members who were incidentally surveilled. Sources: Bloomberg, NYT, Fox, Wapo, The Atlantic.

From the Atlantic:

Ever since Devin Nunes’s mysterious announcement of supposed surveillance of Trump transition team members two weeks ago, the story has operated on two levels. The first is why Nunes behaved the way he did—with mysterious cloak-and-dagger maneuvers—and who he got his information from. It now appears that despite rushing to brief President Trump on his news, the GOP chairman of the House Intelligence Committee received his information from the White House in the first place.

The second, and more obscure, concerns the actual material that Nunes had. He was cagey about it, in part because it is apparently classified. He said that Trump transition team members were subject to “incidental collection,” which refers to U.S. persons being caught up in legal surveillance of foreign targets. There was no indication of illegality, but the names Americans who are incidentally collected are typically meant to be redacted, and Nunes said some names were possibly improperly revealed, or “unmasked,” by the Obama administration.

If that is true, who was behind the unmasking? Bloomberg View’s Eli Lake reports one answer Monday:

White House lawyers last month discovered that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

Lake further reports that Rice’s pattern of requesting unmasking was discovered by Trump National Security Council staffer Ezra Cohen-Watnick, whom The New York Times reported last week was one of Nunes’s sources. Cohen-Watnick informed the White House Counsel’s office, Lake reports.

Rice has not commented on the report. It would likely be legal for Rice to request the unmasking — “The standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to almost anything,” Lake notes.

As Lake notes, nothing he — or anyone else — has uncovered lends credence to President Trump’s outlandish and unsupported claim that Obama ordered surveillance of him at Trump Tower prior to the election. Nor does the new story suggest any illegal behavior on Rice’s part. As with each step in the story, this one offers only a small sliver of information. Many experts seem to think the Bloomberg View story does not imply anything improper or unusual. Others withheld judgment, saying there’s simply not enough information to judge.

The article goes on …

So what’s a poor Congress to do with this?  Rand Paul wants Susan Rice under oath about it before Congress.  My question is “Why?” Although the “revelation” is new, there is no indication anything Rice did was illegal, and I’ve seen nothing indicating it was outside normal channels.  Most importantly, it does nothing to back up Trump’s bogus claim about Obama surveilling Trump Tower.  The information should come out though – to determine if anyone on the Trump team was doing what Eric Prince (Betsy DeVos’ brother) was doing to open back channel communication with our enemies.  Now THAT would be worth investigating.

More Posts by Pogo


87 thoughts on “So, What’s Up Susan?”

  1. Published on Apr 4, 2017

    Former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice is being accused of asking to “unmask” Trump aides in intelligence reports. She responds to the claim for the first time with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

  2. Published on Apr 4, 2017

    Parsing the silence surrounding Mike Flynn’s immunity request.

  3. From what I’ve seen Susan didn’t do anything anyone in her position wouldn’t, and shouldn’t have done.  I’m waiting for the long knives to come out when the Senate intelligence committee convenes hearings after their latest vacation. And I’m waiting for Susan to make Lindsey G look like an idiot when she testifies.

  4. And I’m happier news, drumpf’s approval level is now at 35%. Question is, how low can he go?

  5. pogo, he has a ways to go to tie the 22 of Nixon in ’74 and Truman in ’52, but so far according to wiki chart looks like his approval average at 41.1 is the lowest of them all…. fittingly.

  6. starting 3:01 in on vid Colbert talks about rice controversy

    Published on Apr 5, 2017

    Republicans think they found the smoking gun. Little do they know, the Mystery, Inc. team already beat them to the punch.

  7. This might just be DC intramurals but seems to me Susan is fumbling a bit. Thanks for the post Pogo.

  8. boss, not easy being interviewed by andrea who sometimes interrupts before the interviewee even answers the prior gotcha question.   plus hard to keep from exposing what might be classified info and hurting an ongoing investigation [see video at 3:50 minutes for explanation].  
    no way anyway she’s credible:  she’s not white and not male; ergo, anything she says is questionable. 🙂

  9. sorry Susan, but even if unmasking was well within her legal authority, p0litically speaking she should have kept her fingerprints out of it. maybe she did, the whole thing is so murky and hands over to the Trumpsters an easy distraction.

  10. I agree with you, Craig. Even if totally on the up-and-up, things that Susan Rice becomes involved in and then talks about have a way of turning into do-do. While this is a separate issue from the ‘Russian Connection’ and a distraction, it could be a serious one to be exploited by the experts of counter-information.

  11. What a pile of poop.

    She did her job legally but because she is a hate symbol for the right — she is automatically a target



  12. Holy deflection!   Focus on the much hated Susan, sunday morning benghazi excuse maker…meanwhile the nepotic, trumpence swamp is filling fast with familial dna of the inter breeding kind — the greedy and stingy dna.

    Ana Navarro claimed Rice should get a medal for her interest in corrupt citizens…she was still in charge, the trumpence swamp was not.

  13. Holy Corkscrews…who needs an excuse to drink some fine wine?  Besides…the Blank/Crawford anniversary is tomorrow!

  14. Cajun Joe! Luv seeing you back in the neighborhood (and not just because you agree with me).

    So maddening to see Dem side allow an opportunity for Trump forces to propagandize a false equivalency front.

  15. Hey , boys it’s her job. You know to advise the president on threats to this country.

    Remember, a foreign power was attempting to corrupt our election system?

    Her problem and  the whole Obama admins problem is they are too busy talking instead of fighting.

    Just turn this around and focus it on where it belongs. She was doing her job, she was defending this country and certain individuals (  at best useful idiots or at worst traitors) , connected to Trump, were involved.

    As to who leaked the names, she should say  ” I don’t know any more than I know who in the Trump administration leaked this information. And given the classified nature of all this it is difficult to fully explain the danger all of these issues were to the country”

    The Democrats and Liberals need to start pounding this.



  16. Jack, suggest changing ‘were’ to ‘are’ in last sentence of her suggested remarks.

  17. jack, there had to be a way for her to get that done without putting her lightning rod in the mix.

  18. Of course, if Rice and Obama had never been born, the trump crime family wouldn’t have had any reason to turn quisling, right ?

  19. Tory spokesperson : General Washington ordered a major to listen at Benedict Arnold’s keyhole !

  20. Craig, she didn’t put anything in the mix, she did her job.  In what is an obvious smear attempt by the Republicans, you don’t blame the victim, especially when she was doing her job. Not to have been fully informed would have really been dereliction on her part.



  21. Now the tangerine fuehrer claims the gassing of the Syrian kids was President Obama’s fault. What could be more shameful, except for the attack itself ?

  22. Like I said, I don’t think she did anything that anyone in her position wouldn’t have done.  Her only problem is that she still has the albatross of the Benghazi talk shows hanging around her neck. Problem is, the intel gathered by our intel agencies (NSA most likely) apparently caught drump’s team chatting with Russian actors and the info ultimately got leaked – of course everything gets leaked.  For her the challenge is trying to prove a negative.  There won’t be any consequences for her – the unfortunate victim will be the investigation into Russian contacts with drumpf folks to sway the election – which investigation will last as long as a fart in the wind and will come up with nothing beyond Flynn. That’s my prediction – of course if I were any good at predicting things I wouldn’t be working.

  23. not quite “veni vidi vici” but the turnip just proclaimed at his presser:

    “To be honest, I inherited a mess. It’s a mess. At home and abroad. A mess,” he said.

    too bad he left out “and I am a mess”….

  24. patd – what he left out was “… and don’t think for a minute I have any idea what to do to make it any better.”

  25. patd,

    Harry Truman: The buck stops here

    #45: Pass the buck.

    Overwhelmed & under qualified.

    Thinking of Chico and the Man (forgive me) but “It’s not my job” pops into my head every time #45 plays the blame game, woe-is-me. Yes, it is your job. It’s every elected official’s job to take whatever is at hand, do your best, make no excuses. An excuse is the bastard child of responsibility & integrity. I truly believe this man never believed he would be elected. The run was to be good publicity, an enhanced Wikipedia page, a way to network new revenue sources for both him & his parasitical spawn. Take down enemies & embarrass those who spoke ill against him. A matter of a hundred thousand votes = the difference between a competent President (personality aside, sanity should rule over likeability) & an eternal 11 year old. Again, in the spirit of W: this is some weird sh*t.  It ain’t governing, though, & I’m working like hell to elect competence in 2018, 2020. Ya know, to make America great again. The America my Dad’s folks willingly chose to immigrate to.  I am eternally grateful they made that choice.

    Ball’s in my court now. I intend to win.



  26. Hey…  I know I saw a Solarman post here when I was here earlier.  I really liked it.  So Solar….   YES…   it’s time the Dem’s took a damn bazooka to the Repubs gun fight.

  27. Pogo, patd can split halfsies in xrepublican’s Presidential Cabinet as Veep. It’s revolutionary! Think outside the box! Plus Press Secretary Bink would have oodles of fun explaining that to the noble media.

    Flatus can be the wise Senator who goes harrumph (quite often) but does all he can to make sure the wheels of government keep on keepin’ on because he is a decent dedicated Public Servant.

    Jamie44, whskyjack, Katherine Graham Cracker will be trusted advisors. Blonde Wino will handle the Staff. Sturgeone will play his guitar in the East Room whenever he damn well wants.

    Mr. Crawford will write a bestseller spilling all the beans on us & this non, er, traditional way to govern. Trail Mix will gain a bazillion members. He can then retire comfortably to Florida, the Seychelles ….

  28. On your 2:20 post
    Good point!

    Let me add,

    Yes,  Mista Trump you inherited a  foreign policy mess, but so did your predecessor and the one before him and the one before him and so on until the beginning. It is the nature of world leadership, it is the nature of Democracies too. So you and your predecessors get it double.  You have to deal with a world of independent  countries inhabited  with  people  as diverse and opinionated as this world has ever seen and they all believe they have a better solution than you do. Herding a bunch of pissed off wild cats would be child’s play compared to leading this mob.

    BUT, you wanted the job and you got it. So come on Bub,  quit complaining. What ya gonna do?


  29. …. And RebelliousRenee will become the eternal guest on every talk show explaining every decision  Prez xrep makes.

    Blue Bronc will obtain a new identity & deny any familiarity with everyone here. (Wise choice 😉 )

  30. LOL

    I got on line to pay an over due bill, now I’m hanging out here instead.

    If Mrs Jack asks why the electricity is turned off, I’m laying the blame squarely where it belongs.

    SJ, it’s all your fault. };-)



  31. who will play us in the movie (or Lifetime drama depending on how things turn out)

  32. SJ, to be clear, you’re saying that patd & I should share being worth less than a bucket of warm piss?  I’m OK with  that – just want to be clear I understand.

  33. interesting and relevant quote from one of my favorite shows, Designated Survivor: “Discrediting a source is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It’s bush league but it’s effective if done properly under two circumstances: One, as a last resort, and two, when you’re confronted with a truth you can’t refute.”

  34. Dearest Pogo,

    Warm is better than cold, eh? Think of the benefits: good pension, little to do except show up. Unless you have bigger career goals, pray hourly Prez xrep is the healthiest guy on the planet. If you DO have bigger career goals … Prez xrep, get a food taster. Just sayin’


  35. Oh oh! If we’re setting up a shadow government here at Trail Mix, can I be Secretary of Dance? The world needs more sexy samba hip swivels and rolls. I promise there are no serious scandals in my past that would impact my immediate unanimous confirmation to the position.

    Uhm…that is…if you don’t count my tendency toward heel-toe leads. Somehow I just can’t seem to clean that up in my footwork.

  36. well, nice knowing y’all in case the oncoming storm line wipes out ky and all parts south and northeast of it.

    just heard the tornado watch alert so better be sure billie bob gets her dog calming collar on, the chickens betsy betty and buffy are safely clucked away and bodhi the cat is within grabbing range.  at least I finished my taxes (grumbling all the time about turnip’s taxpayer paid trips to mal-a-ego) so if all else blows away, that’s one less worry.

    see ya in the mornin’….that is iff’n the glue-that-holds-us-together is willing, the creek don’t rise and the ‘lectric still’s aworkin’

  37. Spring is here, we were in a serious drought  up until 2 weeks ago and have receive about 6 inches of rain, It came just right, slow and light at first to soften the ground , then pouring down last night to fill all the creeks and rivers.

    Grass is growing flowers blooming, the sun just came out, (should be a really sappy song in that one somewhere)

    Everything is going to turn out fine, don’t worry.

    Who needs drugs when you have sunshine


  38. His old man left him $50 M!LL!ON$, and the pimple calls it a mess. What an ungrateful pimple he is.

  39. Ms Graham Cracker,

    Secretary of Fun it is.


    Teach the world to dance. Just promise No Jazz Hands 😉

  40. Upon his getting a top security clearance, and senate approval, Mr Cracker will be Sec’y of Fun.

    He will Make America Grape Again !

  41. Now taking any & all requests for Ambassadorships. Actual knowledge of geography, language not required. Big contributions to past/future Campaigns a must.

    Jace, GrannyMumantoog, Mr Doodlesdog, divitale300 …. the world is your oyster here. How big a pearl you want?


    eprof2 will be Secretary of Education. Commonsense & Reason. Ah ……

  42. I want Interior or the EPA or both.  Anything that will turn Exxon et al into an endangered species. Basically Secretary of pretty things and live stuff.

  43. oops sorry, that messy world quote above was in February.  here’s the one today

  44. I want Ambassador to Appalachia. Considering it has become a forgotten foreign country to liberals, conservatives and the rest of official DC.

  45. There is a time and a place for jazz hands. However, I solemnly promise that I will confer with my colleagues in the DOF – that’s Department of Fun – to make certain that all applications of jazz hands have been thoroughly and properly vetted.

    And now, a parable.

    And Travis sent forth His Judges unto humanity with a hot Latin beat. And Travis said to humanity, let there be Dancing. But the people were afraid because their footwork was clumsy and too full of heel leads. And so Travis took pity on humanity, and He sent His most favored Lords and Ladies of Choreography to the people, to instruct them in the ways of Samba rolls and sexy Mambo hip swivels.And the people rejoiced to learn this wondrous thing called Dancing. And the Judges were pleased, and anointed humanity with Holy 10’s. And Travis smiled on humanity, and blessed them and His Judges and His most favored Lords and Ladies of Choreography, and bade all join Him in rapture on the Hot Tamale train.And when all were assembled in peace and joy, Travis Waltzed with them.And the world was full of Dancing from that time unto the ending of days. And Travis looked upon the world. And it was good.

  46. I don’t understand the term Jazz Hands, but I can’t count and move simultaneously. so, waddoo I know ? zilge, thasswatt.

  47. KGC – Don’t keep me in suspense! A rule making jazz hands…what?

    XR – Never fear. If a guy like me with creaky knees can learn, and look credible on a dance floor, anybody can.

  48. Now, a short poem for Spring

    I Pay at the Market for Eggs

    Craig & Dave get ’em free

    w/free home delivery,

    all by air.

    It ain’t fair.

  49. Reading around the net about Bannon’s ouster…   such fun!  Reading the comments at the end of articles…   even better!

    I wanna be the Secretary of Color…   oh yeah….   and also of Arts and Humanities.

  50. Birds:  This is where tin foil comes handy for something other than  a hat.   Shiny, reflective things will scare them off.

    Let’s hope BananaNazi continues to be marginalized.

  51. patd…   please make sure that you and all your critters stay as safe as possible.  I checked on weather dot com…   some really nasty stuff coming your way.   Take care.

  52. “I would believe only in a god who could dance. And when I saw my devil I found him serious, thorough, profound, and solemn: it was the spirit of gravity – through him all things fall.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche 

  53. Hey, i turn around and my spot has been taken from me…..ive been Jean, Jean, the dancing machine around here for …….ever…….but thats ok….no one is ire-replace able……but you better do better than this..turn it up..get off the couch and get the girls to dance …or im not relinquishing squat:


  54. Mr Solar,

    You are the only choice for Secretary of State in our Trail Mix Administration.

    I will dance with you. However, you will regret it. Ever seen Elaine dance on Seinfeld?

  55. Bob Fosse had like three moves & somehow parlayed them into fame & fortune. Some guys have all the luck. Or know the right people.


    Thanks, Jamie, for the video that will haunt my dreams tonight. Jazz hands!


  56. Ok….but I want patd to be my advisor…..and travel with me. She is the only person that can keep me out of problemas…….

  57. I like the movie Cabaret. Joel Grey is incredible in that role. Can’t think of a more perfect time than the early ’70s for that to have been filmed. There was something about 1971-72 that was distinctive in cinema: the look, the atmosphere. Dark, rich, deep.


  58. As sec of state…the Renee would have to make me a scarf for any one that I would visit. With one of two logos….one with a solar sun smiling. Another with a ….kiss my trots on it……so she has to come along also….we will be dancing to different music all over the world….oops that would be kiss my Brits..later

  59. sj – Is Health & Human Services taken?

    If so, how about Ambassador of the Upper West Side?

    I would also be content to design tablescapes for state dinners.

  60. Solar, ya shoulda left trots alone. Interesting image.

    And hey, I could keep you out of trouble … ok, you’re right. Renee may be your better bet.

  61. Pogo, at the end of this post you will see my final plans for us all……..and you as the v p of the …what was our lunch clubs name……before the pinks made us rename it……are coming along…a little patience please…..besides…i will need a legal advise no?,,,,,,ah lawyers….cant live with em…and cant live without em…..haaahhaaa ….sorry, ….hate when i haaaha at my ow jokes……any way….you, xr, Sturg, Jack, Flatus, Jace the Ace,…Bink, and Toney the baloney…who is hiding in wings sorta speak….all have my back for all kinds of reasons, Jamie cos she writes and spells gooder than i can….so you all will be on with me………the Wino….well shes a must have along……and if any one wants an immediate fight on  their hands……the
    Cracker gal will give them what they want….and then some….

    So you see SJ….i jut pulled off one of them chicken coups without firing a single bullet……now let go and do the same to the D. Rump………OH……and this is tempting:

    “Mr Solar gets whatever he wants. Rule #1 —> Infinity.”

    …..was going to make a little comment….but after Patsi seeing something like this…..she would warn me right away to “watch it Solar” she cyber slapped a cpl of times…so im letting it slide………….but will not let it go the next time……..later off for a little quiet time before turning in……..

  62. Thanks, Ms Jamie,

    I shall now place my newest phrase, Jive Hands, on the vocabulary shelf – right after Jive Ass.

  63. I want Solar’s energy in the Energy Dep’t. Think Infinite !
    Mr 39 takes Labor, his partner comes along to clean the bathrooms, where Keith, Rachel, Laurence, and Oprah are piped in.

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