Rice says unmasking of names wasn't for political purposes
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was on the Hugh Hewitt Show this morning to discuss the latest bombshell development that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice requested the unmasking on at least one person involved in Trump transition team. Sen.
The story, which cites former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova as its source, claims Rice asked U.S. spy agencies to produce "detailed spreadsheets" of phone calls involving Trump and his aides during the campaign.
In the days following the September 11, 2012, attacks on the Benghazi consulate that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, Rice became the Obama administration's point person on the matter. "We will not stop until we find out what happened".
The former Obama national security adviser said she did not play a role in revealing names of Trump associates with connections to Russian Federation.
Rice added that it's not unusual to request the identities of people caught on intelligence surveillance.
"I have no idea what reports allegedly are being described by those who are putting out this story", Rice said.
"Rice certainly wasn't politically naive about the political uses of intelligence information", the New York Post noted in an editorial.
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She said she was "surprised" and "shocked" by Trump's March tweet that the Trump Tower was "wiretapped" by the Obama Administration, saying the claim was untrue and that making it was "not typical of the way presidents treat their predecessors". Flynn was sacked after it became clear that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about the content of those discussions.
"The allegation is that somehow Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes", Rice told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.
Rice could not be reached for comment on the report.
Ms. Rice received summaries of USA eavesdropping either when foreign officials were discussing the Trump team, or when foreign officials were conversing with a Trump transition member. Privacy advocates have raised concerns that the new rules - which are yet to be fully implemented - would lead to the information being shared too broadly. The president's advisers quickly embraced Nunes' revelations, but did not acknowledge at the time that the congressman had viewed the information at the White House with the help of White House officials.
"I realize there has been lots of discussion and controversy around this", Rice said. Schiff now has seen the same intelligence information as his Republican counterpart and has said nothing in it "justifies such duplicitous conduct" on the White House's behalf.
It's not unusual for the US government to use intelligence collected from foreigners to get a sense of how other countries view the administration.
Rice said that she and other officials unmasked the names of US persons, but she denied doing so "for any political purposes". Rice denied this allegation during her MSNBC interview. She said the White House isn't responsible for ordering that type of surveillance.
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