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

05 April 2017, 02:11 | Robert Harris

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.

"This is not anything political as has been alleged", Rice said. Citing anonymous "U.S. officials familiar with the matter", Lake reported Monday that the former national security adviser "requested the identities of USA persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign".

MITCHELL: Did you leak the name of Mike Flynn? 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. "There's no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking".

US National Security Adviser Susan Rice speaks during the closing session of the White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism at the State Department on February 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. The review was prompted by a belief that there were inefficiencies in the current procedures and concerns over a policy change made in the closing days of the Obama administration, according to the official, who insisted on anonymity in order to disclose the sensitive information. Rice denied this allegation during her MSNBC interview.

My guess is that Rice's demasking requests were on behalf of the Obama National Security Council and were part of a broad campaign that began in early 2016 to abuse USA intelligence to hurt the Trump candidacy and then his presidency.

Rice added that it's not unusual to request the identities of people caught on intelligence surveillance.

Also factor in House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes's disclosure in a March 22 press conference that the names of Trump campaign or transition officials were demasked from NSA reports that had nothing to do with Russian Federation or alleged wrongdoing by the Trump campaign. 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 USA intelligence reports. Ms. Rice asked for and learned the identity of the Trump official, whose name hasn't been publicly disclosed and our source declined to share.

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The names were part of incidental electronic surveillance of candidate and President-elect Trump and people close to him, including family members, for up to a year before he took office. "I was surprised to see reports from [House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes] on that count today".

This is typically done because the official needs the name to understand the full context of the report.

That comes back to me, not to anybody broadly in the national security world, and that is necessary for me to do my job.

"There were occasions when I would receive a report in which a USA person was referred to".

He characterized her as "very personable, likeable, charming, smart, funny, down to earth" but also someone with sharp elbows.

Many on Twitter were quick to note that two people with prominent access to the president were praising the words and actions of a man who had made many claims they found extremely objectionable.

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