A Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee told Fox News that the intelligence reports in which some of President Donald Trump’s associates were “unmasked” contained detailed information about the associates’ everyday lives.
Rice said Tuesday that any allegations that she improperly sought the names of Trump associates and leaked intelligence information was “absolutely false”.
Making wild, evidence-free accusations about President Obama and other former members of his administration has worked out pretty well for Donald Trump, so it’s no surprise that with his domestic agenda stalled and various foreign policy issues flaring up, he’s comforting himself by stepping up his attacks on former national security adviser Susan Rice. However, as we noted, she did not deny allegations that she “unmasked” the Trump officials’ identities during the course of her review of classified national security information.
“There is an established process for senior national security officials to ask for the identity of USA persons in these reports”, she added. Rice later clarified she was saying she didn’t know what reports Nunes was referring to and said “I still do not”.
To be perfectly frank, I believe that Ms. Rice, Barack Obama’s former national security advisor, needs more practice. Some of the names of the Americans involved may have been “unmasked” – revealed within secret channels so senior leaders with the appropriate clearances could see them. During an appearance on PBS’s “NewsHour” two weeks ago, Rice was asked about House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’s, R-Calif., announcement that Trump and his associates had been swept up in incidental surveillance that wasn’t targeted at them.
Experts say the standard required to ask for a name to be unmasked is easy to meet, meaning it’s unlikely Rice did not follow the rules if intelligence officials ultimately granted her requests.
Trump during the interview was surrounded at his desk by a half-dozen of his highest-ranking aides, including economic adviser Gary Cohn and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, along with Vice President Mike Pence.
“Do I think [Rice committed a crime]?” Through a rigorous process, the NSA grants federal officials’ requests to identify redacted names of United States persons incidentally discussed when the agency surveils foreign nationals.
Meanwhile, Capitol Hill kept the focus on Mr. Trump’s ties to Russian Federation and alleged conspiracies.
The supposed “unmasking” of Trump’s affiliates doesn’t mean Rice revealed their identities either, according to the news network.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says Rice should be called to testify before the congressional intelligence committees.
Nunes’ critics say his showboating was simply an attempt to distract attention from the various official investigations into Trump campaign links to Russian Federation – and to provide cover for Trump’s wild, unfounded allegation that President Barack Obama “wiretapped” Trump Tower a year ago. She admitted she sometimes asked for the names of citizens whose identities were deleted from her daily intelligence briefings to ensure she fully understood the context of the information she was given.