A three-year-old interview clip of former National Security Adviser Susan Rice resurfaced Tuesday after the declassified email she sent to herself on the final day of the Obama administration was released.
During an April 2017 appearance on PBS News Hour, Rice was asked about the then-breaking revelations about members of President Trump's transition team having been surveilled before he took office.
"In the last few hours, we've been following a disclosure by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, that in essence, during the final days of the Obama administration, during the transition after President Trump had been elected, that he and the people around him may have been caught up in surveillance of foreign individuals and their identities may have been disclosed. Do you know anything about this?" PBS anchor Judy Woodruff asked.
"I know nothing about this," Rice said at the time. "I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today."
Rice then pivoted to Trump's accusation that then-President Barack Obama had "wiretapped" him during the 2016 election, insisting that "nothing of the sort occurred." She later insisted that "no president, no White House can order the surveillance of another American citizen. That can only come from the Justice Department with the approval of a FISA court."
She later stressed that Nunes' assertion at the time was that the surveillance was "legal and lawful" and that it was a "potentially incidental collection."
"That means that the target was either a foreign entity or somebody under criminal investigation and that the Americans who were talking to those targets may have been picked up," Rice explained.
However, the newly released email appeared to indicate Rice had knowledge of the surveillance that took place that led to the "unmasking" of then-incoming National Security Adviser (NSA) Michael Flynn from his communications with the then-Russian ambassador.
The email, which was written on Jan. 20, 2017, documented a Jan. 5 Oval Office meeting with then-President Obama and others, during which he provided guidance on how law enforcement needed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race. Parts of it were released previously, but the section on then-FBI Director James Comey's response had been classified as "TOP SECRET" until now.