WashPost: No Fact Checker Pinocchios for Susan Rice's Unmasking Flip-Flop

April 7th, 2017 2:08 PM

So how could the Washington Post Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, possibly avoid awarding a bunch of Pinocchios on April 6 to Susan Rice for her recent flip-flop on the unmasking of Donald Trump campaign people? In a March 22 interview with Judy Woodruff, Rice denied any knowledge at all of this yet she later admitted to unmasking names in a MSNBC interview on April 4. Kessler acted all perplexed about the contradiction. He was so busy scratching his head over this that he somehow forgot all about the very obvious Pinocchios that should have been awarded while wondering Did Rice mislead on PBS?

A separate problem for Rice is an answer she gave during a March 22 interview with PBS’s Newshour, in which she appeared to deny knowing whether conversations involving Trump transition officials were incidentally collected by the NSA. The program aired without the full question posed by host Judy Woodruff, just Rice’s answer. After controversy arose, PBS posted the complete back-and-forth.

Readers can judge for themselves, but Rice tends to stick to her talking points. This is what got her in trouble — and earned her Pinocchios — when she famously insisted in 2012 that the Benghazi attacks were not planned in advance, even as the Libyan president appeared on the same Sunday programs to say, “This was preplanned, predetermined.”

So where are the current Pinocchios for Rice?

Woodruff started the interview by raising Nunes’s unexpected disclosure that Trump “and the people around him may have been caught up in surveillance of foreign individuals and that their identities may have been disclosed.” Woodruff asked: “Do you know anything about this?”

“I know nothing about this. I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today,” Rice answered. She then went on with her prepared remarks: “Let’s back up and recall where we have been,” she said, beginning a spiel about alleged wiretapping of Trump Tower.

Susan Rice's nose grew yet no Pinocchios awarded as Kessler continues scratching his head in a state of perpetual perplexity.

The truthfulness of the answer is hard to gauge. If she was just deflecting a question because she didn’t know enough about Nunes’s claims, she did it in an awkward manner. Rice’s quick dismissal raised suspicions because she appeared to say she knew nothing about a practice that we now know she actively used.

In other words, she lied. So where are the Pinocchios, Glenn?