Over the past week or so, President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to something he calls “Obamagate,” which seems to involve his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign in the early days of the Trump administration for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian officials.
On Wednesday, we learned that acting Acting Director of National Intelligence Rick Grenell pulled call data from several days prior to Flynn’s call to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, which led MMFA researcher Matthew Gertz to note on Twitter:
Grenell put out a much longer list of names by using a date range that precedes the Flynn-Kisluk call, which mainly makes me curious what happened Dec. 14-16 that raised so many alarms at Treasury/NATO/etc. https://t.co/2FutYwr1Uc
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) May 13, 2020
Clearly, the Trump administration is trying to suggest that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and other members of the Obama administration did something improper and targeted Flynn.
But as former FBI counterintelligence agent Asha Rangappa explained, no one knew it was Flynn who made the call. That’s why Flynn had to be “unmasked” in the report. She then proceeded to dismantle the “Obamagate” conspiracy theory and its adherents completely, subjecting them to a brilliant and brutal fact-check:
Identities are masked when a US person who is NOT the target of the surveillance is captured on the communication — this is an “incidental communication.” They are unmasked when the identity is necessary to understand the intelligence. All legal, no warrant required. https://t.co/mghxJ3FcW8
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) May 13, 2020
Rangappa also retweeted out proof that requests to unmask suspects has jumped dramatically since Trump took office:
Here is a list of authorized NSA unmasking requests:
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) May 13, 2020
Clearly, the entire “Obamagate” nonsense is nothing more than an attempt to distract the public from the fact that 85,000 Americans are dead from COVID-19 and at least 33 million are unemployed. It also suggests that the Trump reelection team is in complete chaos and terrified by the fact that he trails in nearly every poll when matched up against Biden.
But as Asha Rangappa proved, facts are powerful things, especially when they’re deployed against blatant bullshit.
Featured Image Via Twitter