Sara Carter at Axios broke the story that McMaster, the NCS's master of disaster, had written a letter protecting Susan Rice's access to classified information. As I write in an upcoming article,
McMaster sent a letter to Obama’s former National Security Adviser assuring her that the NSC would work with her to “allow you access to classified information.” He claimed that her access to classified information is "consistent with the national security interests of the United States."
Why does Susan Rice, who is alleged to have participated in the Obama eavesdropping on Trump people, need access to classified information? What national security purpose is served by it?
The answer given in Carter's article is that it's an effort to provide cover for Susan Rice over the unmasking allegations.
In a June tweet, Trump called the revelation that Rice and other Obama senior officials were unmasking members of his team the “big story… the ‘unmasking and surveillance' that took place during the Obama administration.”
“Basically, this letter which was signed in the last week of April undercuts the president’s assertion that Susan Rice’s unmasking activity was inappropriate. In essence, anybody who committed a violation as she did would not be given access to classified information,” said a senior West Wing official, who was shown the document by Circa and verified its authenticity. “In fact, they would have their security clearance and right to 'need-to-know' stripped.”
“The point is, is that it lowers the bar for her,” the Senior West Wing official said.
“This memo McMaster sent to Rice makes it so that she doesn’t have to prove a continuing 'need-to-know' to have access to classified information and in effect is a White House pardon of Susan Rice and could be used by other Obama officials who conducted targeted unmasking of the campaign as a defense,” the official added.
Why indeed would McMaster feel the need to go out of his way to provide cover for Rice? Let's pivot to a nugget from the great post by Caroline Glick.
He allows anti-Israel, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Iran Obama people like Robert Malley to walk around the NSC and tell people what to do and think. He has left Ben (reporters know nothing about foreign policy and I lied to sell them the Iran deal) Rhodes' and Valerie Jarrett's people in place.
And then to Andrew McCarthy's dissection...
The president is in charge of the executive branch, including its intelligence agencies. He has the authority to decide what intelligence information, and intelligence abuses, can be declassified and made public. When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, he bashed the Bush administration’s “enhanced” interrogation techniques for high-value terrorist detainees. His campaign promised that there would be a public accounting. When he became president, Obama promptly ordered the declassification and public dissemination of government memos outlining the techniques.
...So, why hasn’t Trump taken a page out of this book? Why are we still guessing whether political spying occurred when the alleged victim is now in a position to tell us one way or the other?
But that road leads through those around him. The best way to protect the Obama surveillance state and its holdovers is by keeping people like McMaster around.