Samantha Power, the Obama-era U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), sent government emails expressing “anti-Trump bias,” during and after President Donald Trump’s election victory in 2016, according to recently obtained government documents reported by The Hill’s John Solomon.
According to documents obtained by the American Center for Law and Justice — a legal group run by President Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow — Power made disparaging remarks regarding President Trump and his policies and criticized administration officials. The emails echo disparaging remarks sent between fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and former bureau lawyer Lisa Page about President Trump leading up to the 2016 election. The pair engaged in an affair while investigating the president and his campaign for now-debunked collusion with Russia.
During the 2016 Republican presidential primary, Power sent from her government email a note to an artistic director predicting President Trump and 2016 Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) would win the key primary state of New Hampshire.
“Oskar, Norm will explain our political system, in a way that will fleetingly make it seem rational, though maybe not after Trump and Sanders win NH,” the Obama official reportedly wrote to New York Public Theater’s Oskar Eustis. According to Solomon, “Norm” is a reference to Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Powers, in a December 2016 email, was sent a report detailing President Trump’s plan to institute a “new policy direction for the UN.” The U.S. Ambassador was far from impressed, replying scornfully that the effort “reflects the lack of understanding of history.”
One email shows Power emailed a work associate “Lord help us all” following President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement. In November 2016, Power expressed exasperation over a “routine diplomatic issue with Japan arose,” writing to a government employee that “It is unreal how the Trump dynamic has changed things.”
Solomon further reports:
Perhaps most telling are Power’s efforts to arrange media interviews and speeches during her final days in office, clearly aiming to counter the incoming president’s agenda and fan the narrative that Trump might be dangerously soft on matters involving Russia and mercilessly hard on immigrants.
When Jorge Ramos, news anchor for the Spanish-language network Univision, floated an idea for an exit interview, Power suggested her anguish at seeing Democrats lose the election was receding the more she watched Trump in action.
“If we do something, we will make it good,” Power wrote Ramos. “PTSD in retreat — Trump has vanquished it.”
Power and her staff spent time brainstorming a possible CBS “60 Minutes” interview as Trump’s transition period began. The idea was to parlay Power’s remarks at an upcoming citizenship event and the TV news magazine interview into forums to shame the president-elect on immigration.
Sekulow’s group also show Power received messages highly critical of President Trump, whose historic victory over rival Hillary Clinton left one sender, whose identity was redacted by the State Department, feeling “discouraged and frightened.”
“Electing a right-wing president is something, but such a morally repugnant bully!” an November 14th, 2016, email sent to Power reads. In the same email, the sender attacked White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon as “an avowed racist” and worried that “The worst is coming.” It is unknown whether Power replied to the sender from her government account.
Solomon argues Power’s communications show an “effort to turn a burgeoning Russia scandal” against President Trump as the Obama administration drew to a close:
For example, when a reporter emailed that he was working on a story advancing the Trump-Russia collusion theory, she asked Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, to assist. “Sounds serious. Can you follow up, Ben?” she emailed.
And on Jan. 17, 2017, three days before she and Obama left office, Power worked into the wee hours of the morning to make her final speech, one that would warn Trump might have the wrong formula for addressing Russia aggression.
“Trump’s interviews over the weekend with the foreign press questioning R sanctions and the value of NATO will be helpful for relevance of speech,” Steinberg wrote Power.
Power’s final draft of the speech obliged, suggesting it was “flawed” for Trump to think he could “put recent transgressions aside and announce another reset with Russia,” and that “easing sanctions” would be a mistake. She took aim at Trump’s credibility with one of his own favorite lines, writing: “Making up fake news — ask the reporters here today — is a lot easier than reporting the facts.”
In an interview with Solomon, House Oversight and Reform Committee member Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), said he believes Power’s emails demonstrate bias against the president. The North Carolina Republican also said her remarks sent via government email could be subjected to an investigation whether a Hatch Act violation was committed.
“The sheer political panic evidenced in Samantha Power’s emails shows that ‘the fix was in’ against the incoming administration even before the 45th president was sworn into office,” Sekulow said of the documents.
Power made headlines in 2017 Fox News reported the Obama official was believed to have made up to 260 requests to “unmask” U.S. citizens tied into surveillance of non-U.S. citizens. She even requested information in the days leading up to the inauguration. Then-Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) later revealed that Power testified a portion of the “unmasking” requests made in her name were made by others.
“We’ve got to get to the bottom of that,” Gowdy said in October 2017. “If there is someone else making requests on behalf of a principal in the intelligence community, we need to know that because we’re getting ready to reauthorize a program that’s really important to the country, but also has a masking component to it.”
Power remains the subject of congressional investigations regarding the nature and motive of her unmasking efforts.
In March 2018, Power sent an ominous tweet warning President Trump not to “piss off” former CIA Director John Brennan. Her remark came in response to the Obama-era spook chief lashing out at President Trump in typical grandiloquent fashion.
“When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history,” Brennan wrote, adding “[Y]ou will not destroy America…America will triumph over you.”
Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan. https://t.co/VLg94OLL2R
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) March 17, 2018