losangelesnewstoday.com April 24, 2018

Who Is Susan Rice? Obama Official 'Unmasked' Trump Associates In Surveillance Controversy

05 April 2017, 01:54 | Violet Powell

Greg Nash

Dem rep on surveillance claims 'It's a distraction it's a smoke bomb'

"We know that someone in the Obama administration was eavesdropping and specifically searching a databank looking for the Trump (people)", Sen.

Let me explain how this works: I was the National Security Advisor. Trump launched the first salvo last month when he tweeted that Obama had wiretapped his NY skyscraper, an explosive allegation that senior intelligence and law enforcement officials have denied. She also stated she did not leak Mike Flynn's name, and did not know he was in service to the Turkish government.

"I leaked nothing to nobody and never have and never would", Rice said.

To Trump backers, the revelations are evidence that the Obama administration was surveilling the incoming administration for political purposes, though it remains unclear what activity might have required the alleged unmasking.

"That's absolutely false", she said. "No spreadsheet, nothing of the sort". While it was legal for her to do this, it was highly unethical and would be a huge scandal if a Republican senior official sought the names of Democratic political opponents from US intelligence reports. There were growing indications that the Russian government was attempting to influence the U.S. presidential election, and a national security adviser would be remiss not to closely inspect any information about possible American involvement.

Rice could not be reached for comment on the report.

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At a March 20 House intelligence committee hearing, FBI Director James Comey addressed this issue when asked if Rice would have access to an unmasked American's name.

Via Grabien. My goodness, some people certainly are quick to pronounce this a non-story after less than a day of reporting on Rice's role in it, even though that reporting contradicts a statement she made on tape. "The intelligence community, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has made it very clear". But as national security adviser, Rice was authorized to ask an intelligence agency - such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the CIA and the NSA - to unmask a USA person. For instance, the foreigners could be talking about an American by name.

RICE: That is exactly right, Andrea. "I was surprised to see reports from [House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes] on that count today".

She maintained, however, that asking for more information about names included in intelligence reports was a routine and necessary aspect of her job in protecting American security. So they're giving it to me, if I read it, and I think that in order for me to really understand is it significant or not so significant, I need to understand who the US person is, I can make that request. It is necessary for the Secretary of State, or the Secretary of Defense, or the Central Intelligence Agency director to do their jobs. "For us not to try to understand it would be a dereliction of duty". She also offered some questionable explanations for the demasking process.

McCAIN: "I think the circumstances indicate that there's a possibility that that request could have been politically motivated".

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