Left-leaning Mother Jones reported Friday that President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, ordered officials to ‘stand down’ as Russia allegedly attempted to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.
NSC officials were reportedly alarmed by Russia’s attempts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, including the hacking of Democratic National Committee officials’ emails, and those belonging to Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Michael Daniel, an NSC official responsible for the Russia portfolio, told to the book’s authors of multiple plans to strike fear in Russian President Vladimir Putin with the aim of ending Russia’s election meddling. These plans included surreptitiously releasing personal information about Putin’s family, which revealed corruption in Putin’s political party, and even crafting a large cybersecurity exercise as a public threat to Russia.
Daniel additionally told the authors that when Rice caught wind of his planning, she called him and berated him.
One day in late August, national security adviser Susan Rice called Daniel into her office and demanded he cease and desist from working on the cyber options he was developing. “Don’t get ahead of us,” she warned him. The White House was not prepared to endorse any of these ideas. Daniel and his team in the White House cyber response group were given strict orders: “Stand down.” She told Daniel to “knock it off,” he recalled.
Recently, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley uncovered an unusual email Rice sent herself on January 20th, 2017– the same day as Trump’s inauguration.
The email comprised of notes concerning a January 5th meeting she had with outgoing President Barack Obama, then-FBI Director James Comey, outgoing Vice President Joe Biden and Justice Department official Sally Yates, to discuss alleged ‘Russian interference’.
Rice’s lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, told Congress that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss potential risks of sharing classified intelligence with incoming National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn.
“President Obama and his national security team were justifiably concerned about potential risks to the Nation’s security from sharing highly classified information about Russia with certain members of the Trump transition team, particularly Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn,” Ruemmler wrote.