Although Tim Miller is a conservative who has been active in the Republican National Committee, he has been one of the most vehement critics of the “Obamagate” conspiracy theory that President Donald Trump is currently promoting: Miller is an expert when it comes to not only explaining what “Obamagate” is, but also, debunking it. Miller revisits the subject of “Obamagate” in a May 20 article for The Bulwark, and this time, he lays out the reasons why an e-mail by former Obama Administration official Susan Rice debunks “Obamagate” as idiotic nonsense.
Under Barack Obama’s presidency, Rice served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 2009-2013 and as national security adviser from 2013 to early 2017. Michael Flynn became Trump’s first national security adviser after Obama left office, but Flynn was fired after lying to the FBI about his communications with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Miller (who served as communications director for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush) explains that Rice’s e-mail, which has been declassified, was “written by Rice to herself to memorialize a meeting with President Obama’s national security team about Gen. Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.”
“The full e-mail was declassified on Tuesday, and you will be shocked to learn that the previously redacted text completely debunks the nontroversy narrative that (Acting National Intelligence Director Richard) Grenell, the MAGA media and the Trump campaign were trying to drive with their initial leak,” Miller notes.
Part of the “Obamagate” conspiracy theory claims that Obama and his allies, in late 2016 and early 2017, were spying on Flynn and plotting against him in order to sabotage the incoming president. And Miller points to the “newly revealed” last three sentences of the e-mail as especially important: Rice wrote that former FBI Director James Comey “added that he has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak, but he noted that ‘the level of communication is unusual.’ The president asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Comey said he would.”
Miller, analyzing Rice’s e-mail, writes, “So, the note that had been used to advance the idea that Obama was hiding info from — and even spying on! — Flynn has a line in it that indicates specifically that the president did not want to change how his administration shared classified information with the incoming administration unless something were to change, at which point he would want another briefing. And there is no evidence that another such briefing took place.”
Miller goes on to say that based on Rice’s e-mail, “In summary, here is what we know about Obama’s actions” — for one thing, “Obama says that the investigation should be done ‘by the book’ unless new information comes to light, at which point he should be briefed again.” Also: “President Obama privately warns President-Elect Trump about Flynn in one of their only conversations.”
When he was still president, Miller asserts, Obama was not only not conspiring against Trump — he was trying to work with the incoming president and make the transition to a new administration as smooth as possible. And according to Miller, Rice’s now-unredacted e-mail is hardly damning of Obama — no matter how much Trumpistas will claim it is.
“Only the producers of The Trump Show could come up with a fake conspiracy this morbidly thin,” Miller writes. “The Rice e-mail is such a massive nothing burger that it exists as a nothing burger continent on which all other nothing burgers rest.”
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