(National Sentinel) Collusion: A report published Friday claimed that President Obama’s national security advisor, Susan Rice, ordered the National Security Council to “stand down” during Russian attempts to meddle in the 2016 election.
In the second of two excerpts from the book, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump published by Mother Jones, Rice issued the order as NSC staffers began preparing aggressive options in response to the meddling. The book, due out in days, was written by Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News, and David Corn, Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones.
The book notes that NSC officials were alarmed by Russia’s meddling attempts, which the authors claim included Moscow’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s emails and those belonging to Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.
The Daily Caller, citing the excerpt, noted:
Michael Daniel, an NSC official responsible for the Russia portfolio, told 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 also told the authors that after Rice learned of the NSC’s 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.
Obama officials have since said they “sort of choked” when it came to the former administration’s lack of action against Russia. Rather, Obama said he told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a face-to-face meeting to “knock it off.”
As for the DNC’s hacked emails, there are doubts that Russia was responsible or that there was a hack at all.
Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks — who released the emails — has repeatedly claimed they did not come from Russia. He has even offered to provide U.S. officials with evidence in exchange for a pardon.
A July 2017 report by a meta-analysis independent researcher suggests that files belonging to the Democratic National Committee and summarily published by Guccifer 2.0 were most likely downloaded locally rather than being hacked, especially by someone from Russia.
Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has also said that the emails were not hacked but downloaded by murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich and passed along to Wikileaks.
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