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Former Obama Adviser Susan Rice Asked For Intel On Trump - Then Met With Former Boss

Susan Rice, the Obama administration’s national security adviser, allegedly “unmasked” Americans when she sought to identify people whose names appeared “incidentally” in intelligence reports.

A pair of federal officials, who requested anonymity, told Bloomberg View that Rice’s activities came to light in a recent review by the National Security Council. The review indicated that Rice had asked, dozens of times, for the names of U.S. citizens from intelligence reports even though the people were not subjects of an investigation.

Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake noted that officials usually remove such names from their documents. The National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, told the White House General Counsel’s Office in February that Rice had requested details about Americans mentioned in surveillance reports regarding the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

Some of the intercepted communications purportedly involved Trump associates speaking with Russian contacts. The House and Senate intelligence committees, as well as the FBI are looking into whether the president’s campaign colluded with the Russians to help defeat Hillary Clinton.

Bloomberg View asked Rice to respond to the story, but received no response. In February, on the “PBS NewsHour,” an interviewer asked the former national security adviser about her alleged “unmasking” of Americans in intelligence reports. “I know nothing about this,” Rice said. “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman (Devin) Nunes (of the House Intelligence Committee) on that account today.”

Lake argued that the news about Rice’s requests does not help verify Trump’s widely debunked claim that the Obama administration “wiretapped” him during the White House race. The FBI and National Security Agency have determined that no such surveillance occurred. Trump’s critics accuse him of fabricating the charge in an attempt to divert attention from the growing Russian scandal.

However, according to the Bloomberg View columnist, “Rice’s multiple requests to learn the identities of Trump officials discussed in intelligence reports during the transition period does highlight a longstanding concern for civil liberties advocates about U.S. surveillance programs.” Lake’s op-ed explained that “the standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to almost anything … (so) Rice’s unmasking requests were likely within the law.”

Source: Newsmax
Photo: Newsmax Screenshot

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