Details About People Unmasked By Obama Administration Are Very Personal

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President Donald Trump alleged in an interview Wednesday that Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice may have committed a crime with her actions related to Trump associates.

He declined to say if he had personally reviewed new intelligence to bolster his claim but pledged to explain himself "at the right time". She said "The allegation is that somehow Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes".

The folks at CNN and MSNBC are working overtime to splash cold water all over the startling disclosure that President Barack Obama's national-security adviser, Susan Rice, was behind the "unmasking" of Trumpites in transcripts of calls with Russian officials.

According to a USA official, Rice asked spy agencies to give her the names of Trump associates who surfaced in intelligence reports she was regularly briefed on. 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". "That's absolutely false", Rice said, while also denying having leaked any information.

I'll take her word for it, though if it had been so pristine, it's unclear why Rice had previously lied and claimed no knowledge of any of it.

"This is why. our effort has to be bipartisan - nonpartisan in a more ideal sense", Warner said.

As Herridge notes in her piece, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who temporarily stepped away from leading the investigation into Russia Thursday morning, expressed deep concern about the details in the reports he presented to the White House.

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The hounding was so intense that Rice asked Obama to withdraw her nomination to become secretary of state following the departure of Hillary Clinton.

An April 3 Daily Caller report that Rice ordered USA spy agencies to produce "detailed spreadsheets" of legal phone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides when he was running for president makes this story more interesting.

Is there any public evidence to support Trump's claim that Rice may have committed a crime? The committees also need to uncover any evidence of the White House trying to influence the outcome of these assessments or excluding certain agencies from participating. And Republicans can talk in open hearings, and to reporters, about the Rice-unmasking narrative - not Russian cyberattacks or potential collusion with Trump aides.

However, the probe into Russia's interference in the election is ongoing and the subject of two congressional investigations. It's the policy. When anyone's name appears unless there's an intelligence value to it, the name has to be blacked out and masked.

Nunes first viewed the documents on White House grounds a day before briefing the president, creating an air of suspicion that he was doing the White House's bidding.

"This is information about their everyday lives", he said.

Rice became a favorite target of conservatives after the 2012 attacks on a US diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, when she was sent out to do television interviews with talking points about the attacks that later proved to be incorrect. Lindsey Graham, a Rice enemy of many years.

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