Conservatives – even some who have been skeptical of Trump’s claim that the Obama administration surveilled him – saw it as highly suspicious. Sen.
Rice continued to turn herself into a pretzel by insisting that the unmasking had nothing to do with the leaking. “That’s absolutely false. There was no such collection or surveillance on Trump Tower or Trump individuals, it is important to understand, directed by the White House or targeted at Trump individuals”.
On Sept. 16, 2012 Susan Rice went on five national news shows and said the Benghazi terror attack was a “spontaneous reaction to an offensive video”. Rice’s answer: “You know, Andrea, let’s see what comes”.
Ms Rice has come under intense scrutiny over suggestions she requested the intelligence community to provide the names of Trump administration officials who turned up in surveillance transcripts of foreign subjects.
She added that she never made public the identities of any associates of Trump mentioned in intelligence surveillance.
She would not have been able to do it on her own.
From nearly the outset of the interview, Rice did not make an effort to deny that she was involved in requests to unmask the identities of Americans inadvertently caught up in intelligence signals intercepts.
But Rohrabacher argued Tuesday that the US and Russian Federation have a common enemy in “radical Islamic terrorism” and critics are preventing them from working together to defeat it. And if it had been critical to know the identities of Americans caught up in other foreign intelligence efforts, the agencies that collect the information and conduct investigations would have unmasked it.
“We can’t be passive consumers of this information and do our jobs to protect the American people”, Rice said.
Rice said none of the information was used in any political context against the Trump campaign in his run for the White House previous year.
Rice has since vehemently denied the Trump administrations accusations.
She did not explain why the information would have been masked by intelligence agencies in the first place if it were deemed by them to have any intelligence value.
“The notion, which some people are trying to suggest, that by asking for the identity of the American person is the same as leaking it – that’s completely false”, Ms. Rice said. When intelligence is collected on a foreign official speaking with a USA citizen, the US citizen is supposed to be protected – or “masked” in the parlance.
The Trump administration is considering a broad set of measures, known as “extreme vetting”, that would force foreigners entering the U.S.to disclose information such as their mobile phone contacts and financial records.
Rice has denied any improper action, saying unmasking names of US persons is sometimes necessary to understand the “context” for intercepted conversations.
It’s not entirely clear.
“The more we find out about this, the more we learn there was something there”, Spicer said.
One is legal and the other isn’t. Therefore it seems legitimate to request the names of those Americans in order to determine who they were and what if any connection they may have had to that meddling.
The unmasked names were sent to the National Security Council, the Defense Department, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-CIA Director John Brennan.
Nunes also said additional Trump transition members were unmasked. Congressional oversight committees also review whether unmasking has been done properly. That leak, while it revealed that Flynn was being less than truthful with the U.S. public, was illegal.
If, on the other hand, Ms Rice widely disseminated information about U.S. citizens or leaked it to the press, as some Republican critics allege and she adamantly denies, then the picture grows much darker. Rice said she never leaked the identities of people whose names were revealed.