Two Obama National Security staffers who worked side-by-side in the White House office of Ben Rhodes, former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser for strategic communications, stayed behind at the White House to work for Obama’s successor President Donald Trump only to quit and then publish scathing op-eds just three days apart in the Washington Post and Atlantic, respectively.
Rhodes specialized in manipulating the media for favorable reporting on the Obama administration, most notably the Iran nuclear deal. Under the rule of ‘there are no coincidences in politics’, that two Rhodes operatives stayed behind and then staged high profile protest resignations bespeaks of a scheme that would have to have been blessed by Rhodes’ former boss Obama.
President Barack Obama confers with Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, in the Oval Office, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) via Flickr.
The scheme falls into a pattern of the Obama administration abusing national security to destabilize the Trump administration in its vulnerable infancy.
Ahmed Rumana, promo image via the Atlantic, Twitter.
Ned Price, Obama administration Twitter avatar.
The Weekly Standard’s Lee Smith connected the dots between the resignations of Edward ‘Ned’ Price who wrote of his quitting in the Washington Post and Rumana Ahmed who wrote about her decision to quit in the Atlantic.
What a strange coincidence that Price and Ahmed worked for the same person in the Obama White House, national security adviser for strategic communications, Ben Rhodes. In fact, they worked in the same room, outside of Rhodes’ office, as the 2016 New York Times Magazine profile of Rhodes showed: “In the front office, [Rhodes’] assistant, Rumana Ahmed, and his deputy, Ned Price, are squeezed behind desks, which face a large television screen, from which CNN blares nonstop.”
Among their other duties, Price and Ahmed helped manage Rhodes’ “echo chamber” to market Obama’s policies. Former CIA analyst Price explained to the Times magazine how he manipulated American public opinion from his desk in the White House. The Obama NSC relied on “compadres” in the media to proliferate its message, Price said. “I will reach out to a couple people, and you know I wouldn’t want to name them — “
Smith contacted Trump officials who contradicted the Atlantic’s claim that Ahmed was “not a political appointee.” The officials told Smith that Ahmed was indeed a political appointee to the NSC and applied late in the Obama administration’s tenure to ‘burrow’ in as a civil service employee. Ahmed was approved just days before she quit.
Smith also reports sources said Ahmed did not actually work all her eight days at the Trump administration, that she took off several days and only worked four days.
Price claimed in his Post op-ed politics had nothing to do with his resignation, “To be clear, my decision had nothing to do with politics…”
Days after publication, the Post was forced to add a correction to the top of Price’s op-ed noting he donated $5000 in 2016 to the presidential campaign of Trump’s Democratic Party rival Hillary Clinton and the party.
“Clarification: This column should have included a disclosure of donations made by author Edward Price in support of 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. In August, Price gave a total of $5,000 to the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party.”
Rhodes promoted on Twitter both op-eds by his former staffers. He retweeted without comment Price’s tweet of his Post op-ed.
— Ned Price (@nedprice) February 20, 2017
Rhodes praised Ahmed when he posted her Atlantic op-ed to Twitter, saying, “The patriotism of Muslim Americans like Rumana Ahmed is a big part of what makes America great.”
The patriotism of Muslim Americans like Rumana Ahmed is a big part of what makes America great. https://t.co/civBazg09g
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) February 23, 2017
Rhodes also retweeted several postings of tweets promoting Ahmed’s op-ed including former Obama administration colleague Dan Pfieffer, NBC journalist Andrea Mitchell who commented, “This is disturbing on so many levels”, and radio host Questlove Gomez among others.
Rhodes praised Bush administration holdovers in his retweet of Pfeiffer, saying, “Would also note some of Obama admin’s best natsec staffers were Bush NSC vets: @brett_mcgurk @kellymagsamen Elissa Slotkin, Doug Lute…”
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) February 23, 2017
Robert Spencer, writing at FrontPage, questioned how someone tied to a Muslim supremacist organization was cleared for a national security position at the White House.
… Before she went to work for the Obama administration, she was an officer of George Mason University’s Muslim Students Association (MSA). According to Discover the Networks, the “was established mainly by members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in January 1963 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Nyack College theologian Larry A. Poston writes that ‘many of the founding members of this agency [MSA] were members of, or had connections to,’ the Muslim Brotherhood or Jamaat-i-Islami.” The MSA is “a radical political force and a key lobbying organization for the Wahhabi sect of Islam, telling students that America is an imperialist power and Israel an oppressor nation. MSA speakers routinely spew anti-Semitic libels and justify the genocide against the Jews which is promoted by Islamic terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah and by the government of Iran.”
What’s more, “a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood internal document — titled ‘An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America’ — which named MSA as one of the Brotherhood’s 29 likeminded ‘organizations of our friends’ that shared the common goal of destroying America and turning it into a Muslim nation. These ‘friends’ were identified by the Brotherhood as groups that could help teach Muslims ‘that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands … so that … God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.’”
It is hard to imagine how someone who had served as an officer in an organization dedicated to “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within” would so quickly be appointed to the National Security Council, but that was Barack Obama’s America. The Trump administration is indeed setting a strikingly different tone, one that Rumana Ahmed finds unacceptable. Her dissatisfaction and departure from the NSC are good reason for every patriotic American to applaud.”
Former Chief Asst. U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy wrote a lengthy article at the National Review about the Obama administration’s abuse of national security and the FBI in its efforts to take out Trump’s (now resigned) National Security Advisor Gen. Mike Flynn and hamstring the nascent Trump administration.
…although Trump has made disturbingly flattering remarks about Putin, there is no evidence his campaign has given or promised Russia any actual accommodation in exchange for Putin’s favor. Democrats hope to erase this problem by finding something, anything, that could be spun as a quid pro quo. Obviously, they hoped the Flynn–Kislyak conversation would answer their prayers. No such luck. As the Times puts it:
Obama officials asked the FBI if a quid pro quo had been discussed on the call, and the answer came back no, according to one of the officials, who like others asked not to be named discussing delicate communications. The topic of sanctions came up, they were told, but there was no deal.
Asked not to be named discussing delicate communications. That’s a good one. Let me translate: The officials don’t want you to know who they are because they are corrupt — (a) FISA intercepts are classified, so disclosing them to the press is a crime; (b) by revealing the Flynn–Kislyak conversation to the press, the “officials” inform the Russians that whatever countermeasures they are taking against U.S. surveillance have failed, assuring that the Russians will alter their tactics, making the job of our honorable intelligence agents more difficult; and (c) the FBI’s investigative powers are not supposed to be put in in the service of a political party’s effort to advance a partisan storyline, like “Putin hacked the election.”…
The Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo wrote two weeks ago about the Obama administration’s efforts to sabotage the Trump administration, Former Obama Officials, Loyalists Waged Secret Campaign to Oust Flynn.
The abrupt resignation Monday evening of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump’s national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who described to the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media.
The effort, said to include former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes—the architect of a separate White House effort to create what he described as a pro-Iran echo chamber—included a small task force of Obama loyalists who deluged media outlets with stories aimed at eroding Flynn’s credibility, multiple sources revealed.
The operation primarily focused on discrediting Flynn, an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, in order to handicap the Trump administration’s efforts to disclose secret details of the nuclear deal with Iran that had been long hidden by the Obama administration.
Insiders familiar with the anti-Flynn campaign told the Free Beacon that these Obama loyalists plotted in the months before Trump’s inauguration to establish a set of roadblocks before Trump’s national security team, which includes several prominent opponents of diplomacy with Iran. The Free Beacon first reported on this effort in January…”
Bloomberg’s Eli Lake wrote of the abuse of national security by Obama officials, The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn.
Lake identified the ultimate target of the operation as being President Trump.
In the end, it was Trump’s decision to cut Flynn loose. In doing this he caved in to his political and bureaucratic opposition. (Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican (CA) chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) told me Monday night that this will not end well. “First it’s Flynn, next it will be Kellyanne Conway, then it will be Steve Bannon, then it will be Reince Priebus,” he said. Put another way, Flynn is only the appetizer. Trump is the entree.”
Will Congress investigate Barack Obama, Ben Rhodes and others in this unprecedented abuse of power to sabotage national security and the Trump administration?