Obama aide says intel not used to spy on Trump advisers

Posted April 06, 2017

Rice's official role would have given her the ability to make those requests for national security purposes.

Rice argued that that asking intelligence officials for more information about classified reports was a routine aspect of her job.

"Susan Rice is the Typhoid Mary of the Obama administration foreign policy", Cotton said.

When the MSNBC anchor pressed the former national security adviser over whether she spied on the Trump transition team and unmasked their names for political purposes, Rice said surveillance was well within her job description.

Second, Democrats are trying to divert attention from what the GOP believes is the real scandal: The Obama administration improperly and perhaps illegally surveilled Trump and his top advisors, then leaked information to the mainstream media.

In fact, there is no evidence of that.

Intelligence officials said any requests that Rice may have made would have been handled by the intelligence agency responsible for the report, which in most cases would have been the National Security Agency. Usually, those names are blacked out. "The effort to ask for the identity of an American citizen is necessary to understand an intelligence report in some circumstances", she added.

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Rice has denied any impropriety.

"Lake wrote that according to "U.S. officials familiar with the matter", Rice requested the identities of US persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign". Lake quoted one unidentified USA official as saying this was "valuable political information on the Trump transition such as whom the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates in foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration". Unmasking was then the subject of a story by Eli Lake, a conservative columnist for Bloomberg View. And while he continued to complain that the intelligence committee chairman told the president and the press before he shared the information with the committee, he did not dispute Nunes' account of what was in the "un-masking" report.

The Trump camp had initially denied the numerous secret meetings that various members had with Russian officials here in the United States, in Russia and other parts of the world.

CNN's Don Lemon blasted President Trump, the Fox News Channel and "right-wing" media for reporting the revelation.

Lee said he did not suggest that Rice has to prove that her actions weren't politically motivated, but said it isn't absurd to suggest that they could have been. Senator Lindsey Graham of SC said Congress should look into the reports.

Nobody can forget the attack on the USA diplomatic outpost in Libya in 2012. The report quickly reopened an unsubstantiated debate on whether the Obama administration previously ordered wiretaps on Trump's phones. Cotton said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show. "This seems nothing more than buying time and obstructionism". A preposterous promotional email headline read: "Susan Rice: When the White House twists the truth, we are all less safe".

"President Donald Trump", they write, "sought to turn attention away from the Russian Federation investigation Monday, saying that "the real story" was what he called a "crooked scheme against us" by President Barack Obama's team to mine USA intelligence reports for information about him during last year's presidential campaign". "I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today". For example: "What specific surveillance information did Ms. Rice seek and why?"

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