Trump says former Obama official may have committed a crime

"This is information about their everyday lives", Rep. Peter King of NY, a member of the House Intelligence committee said. We don't know precisely the question she was asked due to how the interview was edited, but PBS host Judy Woodruff led into Rice's comment by saying she asked Rice about Nunes's disclosure that Trump associates "may have been swept up in surveillance of foreigners at the end of the Obama administration".

"There is an established process for senior national security officials to ask for the identity of US persons in these reports", she added.

US President Donald Trump accused an official of the Obama administration of committing a crime by asking to "unmask" the names of Trump's associates in intelligence documents, media reports said.

Rice reportedly tried to learn the identities of officials on Trump's transition team whose conversations with foreign officials may have been incidentally collected during routine intelligence-gathering operations.

Rice dismissed the reports as "absolutely false" in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday.

Or maybe it's not sexism or racism, but the fact that Rice - with her clear history of dishonest public statements - has totally altered her story.

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

Nunes has apologized for the way he presented his information, but that hasn't stopped Democratic and Republican leaders alike from questioning his ability to oversee a fair investigation of the Russian Federation matter.

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), the top Democrat on the committee, said Wednesday that the White House made the allegations against Rice "to distract" from separate investigations by the House and Senate intelligence committees and the FBI into whether there was improper coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

"Well I think the American people have a right to know what was going on". A congressional aide said there were more than a dozen people on the list.

When a name is unmasked it is only provided to the official who requested it, and therefore unmasking is not equivalent to leaking the name.

That's the take of Rep. Peter King, who sits on the House Intelligence committee.

"I think it's going to be the biggest story", Mr. Trump said in an interview in the Oval Office, declining repeated requests for evidence for his allegations or the names of other Obama administration officials. Strictly speaking, it isn't: FBI Director Jim Comey and the chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence Committee all say there was no "wiretap" of Trump.

Rice isn't the only Obama official implicated in the Trump team surveillance scandal.

Such requests, which a number of senior officials are authorized to make, trigger a legal and intelligence review by the agency to determine whether revealing the name has potential intelligence value and could expose a security threat to the United States, said one of the officials, who is familiar with the process and spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal intelligence procedures.

There's a certain amount of subjectivity built into that, which means that the intelligence committees will likely want to look at how the standard was applied in these cases: What was the intelligence need for each unmasking request?

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