Donald Trump has turned to his Twitter account to shame Susan Rice for declining a request to testify at a Congressional hearing related to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
On Thursday morning the commander-in-chief tweeted: “Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor to President Obama, is refusing to testify before a Senate Subcommittee next week on allegations of unmasking Trump transition officials. Not good!”
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Rice, Obama’s national security adviser refused an invitation from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism regarding Russia’s interference in last year’s election. She declined via a letter from her attorney, Kathryn Ruemmler, that was first obtained by CNN.
In the letter, Ruemmler explained that Rice was turning down the invitation because it came only from Graham and was not bipartisan in nature (the subcommittee’s ranking Democrat, Rhode Island’s Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse reportedly did not agree Graham’s request).
The former national security adviser got involved in the Russia scandal last month, when Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake, citing anonymous U.S. officials, reported that White House lawyers learned she had requested the identities “of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign.” In other words, Rice sought the names of those in Trump’s circle who were caught up in the legal surveillance of foreign targets—even though those identities are usually redacted from summaries reviewed by the White House.
Rice told MSNBC in April that she didn’t use intelligence reports to spy on Trump associates for political purposes, though she acknowledged that she had had the ability to request their names. She did not say whether she sought intelligence on Trump’s associates or asked for their identities; that information would be classified, she said.