Obama National Security Officials Susan Rice, James Comey, John Brennan Back Joe Biden

Obama and Brennan
Pete Souza/White House

Former President Barack Obama’s national security leaders came out this week right before Super Tuesday to announce their support for former colleague Joe Biden, in apparent hopes to tip the scales against his non-establishment competitor, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Their endorsement signals that the national security establishment that has been excoriated by both President Trump and Bernie Sanders for supporting the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and military intervention elsewhere, will also back Biden.

Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, tweeted:

I’m proud to endorse @JoeBiden for President,” along with a picture of them hugging. “No one is better prepared and more trusted by our allies to repair the incalculable damage Trump has done to our int’l standing and national security.

Rice became embroiled in the Benghazi scandal, after she claimed in TV interviews that an anti-Islam video sparked the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack against a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Her claim was later proven not to be true. Rice was also a proponent of the U.S. intervention in Libya in 2011, which allowed for the Islamic State to move in and solidify a foothold.

John Brennan, Obama’s CIA director, also came out the same day to back Biden.

“Joe Biden is one of the most honest, decent, practical, & experienced individuals with whom I have ever worked. If nominated & elected, he is capable of unifying our country & restoring America’s standing around the world,” he tweeted.

Brennan, as CIA director, was heavily involved in the Obama administration’s efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign. He testified to the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017 that in late July 2016 he started a “fusion cell” of officials from the CIA, National Security Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate Russian interference.

He also testified he gave the FBI leads on “contacts and interactions between Russian officials  [and] U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign,” and that the information” served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether “collusion” occurred.

The years-long, multi-million dollar FBI investigation later headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no collusion or coordination. Even after the Mueller investigation ended, he continued to assert that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

James Comey, Obama’s FBI director and another lead figure in the FBI’s Russian collusion investigation, also came out of the woodwork this week to back Biden on Super Tuesday, although a day after Rice and Brennan.

He tweeted: “Voted in first Dem primary to support party dedicated to restoring values in WH. I agree with @amyklobuchar: We need candidate who cares about all Americans and will restore decency, dignity to the office. There is a reason Trump fears @joebiden and roots for Bernie. #Biden2020.”

Trump fired Comey in May 2017 after he refused to say publicly what he had been telling the president privately: that Trump was not personally under investigation for colluding with Russia. Comey then leaked memos he wrote of his private conversations to a friend who leaked them to the New York Times in order to prompt the appointment of a special counsel.

The FBI’s handling of the investigation of the Trump campaign, under Comey, is being investigated by the Justice Department and Attorney General John Durham. The DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz earlier this year came out with a damning report on the FBI’s handling of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to obtain surveillance warrants on a Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page.

Comey is not a popular figure among establishment Democrats because of his announcement the FBI was reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails just weeks before the 2016 presidential election.

An adviser for the Biden campaign, Andrew Bates, actually rejected Comey’s endorsement.

“Yes, customer service? I just received a package that I very much did not order. How can I return it, free of charge?” he tweeted.

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