Former Obama administration officers have lambasted the Trump administration over a memo alleged to have circulated by the White Home final yr accusing high Obama officers of finishing up a media marketing campaign to undermine President Donald Trump’s overseas coverage efforts.
On Thursday, The New Yorker reported that Trump advisers had circulated the memo, titled “The Echo Chamber,” all through the Nationwide Safety Council (NSC) and different components of the White Home early final yr.
The doc is alleged to accuse deputy nationwide safety adviser to former President Barack Obama, Ben Rhodes, and nationwide safety adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden, Colin Kahl, of plotting to undermine the Trump administration as a part of a “community” dubbed the “Echo Chamber.”
The time period “echo chamber” is usually used as a metaphor to explain how folks can both consciously or subconsciously choose or be uncovered to info that reaffirms their pre-existing beliefs.
Within the “Echo Chamber” memo, Rhodes and Kahl, in addition to different former Obama administration officers, had been accused of utilizing an “echo chamber” technique that the doc claimed had been “to promote Obamacare and the Iran Deal to the general public” to undercut Trump’s efforts.
“These are the Obama loyalists who’re in all probability amongst these coordinating the each day/weekly battle rhythm,” the doc allegedly stated.
The memo reportedly accused Rhodes particularly of being “possible” to be “the mind behind this operation” and refers to Kahl as its “possible ops chief.”
“Rhodes and Kahl are suspected to utilize privileged entry and data leveraging it in opposition to the incumbent administration,” it stated, in line with The New Yorker.
Each Rhodes and Kahl denied coordinating any form of effort to undermine the Trump administration, in interviews with The New Yorker.
“The truth that a memo like this even exists is a scandal,” Kahl advised the journal. “The NSC’s position to employees the President & coordinate the interagency on overseas coverage—it’s NOT the job of the NSC to map and goal home political opponents or collude with exterior allies to take action.”
In his personal phrases
Whereas it’s unclear what info the alleged memo used to again up its accusations in opposition to Kahl and Rhodes, if any, it could have been the latter former Obama official’s personal phrases that impressed the report’s title.
In a Might 2016 interview with The New York Instances, Rhodes described how his crew “created an echo chamber” to assist garner assist for the Obama-negotiated Iran deal, explaining that consultants cheerleading the deal “had been saying issues that validated what we had given them to say.”
The 2015 deal, which lifted financial sanctions on Iran in trade for limitations on the nation’s nuclear vitality program, had been touted as a main overseas coverage achievement of the Obama administration.
Of the deal’s opponents, Rhodes stated within the NYT interview: “We drove them loopy. We had check drives to know who was going to have the ability to carry our message successfully, and how one can use exterior teams like Ploughshares, the Iran Undertaking and whomever else. So we knew the ways that labored.”
Whereas Rhodes’ personal phrases could have impressed the alleged memo’s “Echo Chamber” title, he advised The New Yorker that the existence of such a doc would symbolize a “weird effort to validate ‘deep state’ conspiracy theories. Given Trump’s many efforts to intimidate and malign his critics, it is price asking how his White Home and outdoors enablers acted on this unusual memo.”
Ned Value, who additionally beforehand served as a spokesperson for the NSC beneath Obama, stated that what’s so “chilling about this Trump NSC doc—naming a number of of my former colleagues and me—is that it’s written as if it had been a examine of an abroad terrorist cell focused by the US authorities.”
Others appeared to take extra pointed jabs on the alleged memo, with Kahl updating his biography on Twitter to incorporate “Seemingly Ops Chief of the Echo Chamber.”
Former NSC spokesperson Tommy Vietor, who served beneath Obama, additionally joked concerning the memo, writing on Twitter: “They’re on to us guys. Time to burn our Echo Chamber T-shirts,” together with Kahl, Rhodes and different former officers within the tweet.
The White Home has not instantly responded to a request for remark.