Trump believes Susan Rice committed crime, declines to provide evidence

10 April 2017, 02:12 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Trump believes Susan Rice committed crime, declines to provide evidence

Trump believes Susan Rice committed crime, declines to provide evidence

Trump told the New York Times that former national security adviser Susan Rice may have committed a crime by requesting the names of Trump associates who were incidentally mentioned on intercepted communications during the Obama administration.

But President Trump in an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday said he thinks Rice committed a crime.

Rice also denied leaking anything to the media, and she said people in Trump's inner circle and/or those who worked in Trump Tower were not specifically targeted for any surveillance operations during the Obama administration.

According to five us intelligence officials, Rice followed standard procedure in requesting the National Security Agency to reveal to her the names of American citizens who had been in contact with Russians whose communications were monitored by USA intelligence.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the House intelligence committee wants Rice, national security adviser to Obama in his second term, to testify as part of its probe into Russia's meddling in the US election and whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Rice claimed during an interview with MSNBC earlier this week unmasking was done in order to protect individual American citizens, not to use their information for political purposes.

Rice is also under fire for comments she made last month in an interview with "PBS NewsHour" in which she said "I know nothing about this", when asked about claims from Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, that Trump officials were caught up in surveillance and that their identities were disclosed. It was Rice who may have leaked classified details from that surveillance to the press, it alleges.

Questioned by reporters, Rice dodged the question.

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Trump was unclear what crime specifically he is accusing Rice of committing.

"I believe if there is any truth at all to these allegations, or any substance to them at all then Susan Rice will have to testify before the Intelligence Committee in the House and the Senate...." Often, such names are blanked out, or "masked" in such reports.

"This is why. our effort has to be bipartisan - nonpartisan in a more ideal sense", Warner said. Through a rigorous process, the NSA grants federal officials' requests to identify redacted names of USA persons incidentally discussed when the agency surveils foreign nationals.

President Trump on Wednesday claimed that he believes Rice may have committed a crime by requesting the identities of Trump associates who were mentioned in US surveillance, though he did not provide proof. Unmasking does occur, but it is typically done by intelligence or law-enforcement officials engaged in anti-terror or espionage investigations. Certain government officials such as Rice may request names to be revealed to help them understand the intelligence reports.

Trump said he would explain himself "at the right time".

Rice has said that the pace of intelligence reports on Russian meddling increased beginning in the summer of 2016.

Neither does House Intelligence Committee Chair David Nunes. And in the Senate, both Warner and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina said they thought it was appropriate. She had no need of operational intelligence in these cases.

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