Trump says Rice may have committed crime with unmasking requests

In her interview, Rice said the volume of intelligence reports that she saw about Russia's attempts to influence the USA presidential election increased after Obama requested an intelligence assessment of Moscow's interference.

President Trump hosted King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House, told the New York Times he thought former National Security Adviser Susan Rice had committed a crime and was scheduled to speak with the leaders of Germany and Japan.

A spokesperson for Rice later called the claim "ludicrous".

And as President Barack Obama's national security adviser, there could very well have been legitimate reasons for her to ask to unmask individuals in these intelligence reports, which are part of her job. These names are usually redacted or even given vague descriptors like "Male 1".

Such requests, which a number of senior officials are authorized to make, trigger a legal and intelligence review by the agency to determine whether revealing the name has potential intelligence value and could expose a security threat to the United States, said one of the officials, who is familiar with the process and spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal intelligence procedures.

Rice on Tuesday denied inappropriately asking for the names of Trump associates to be identified in raw intelligence reports, which allies of President Trump have charged was politically motivated.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

Nunes learned about these practices from officials in the Trump administration, and then announced them, and then publicly visited the White House because, he said, he needed to brief Trump about them.

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.

Current and former intelligence officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations have said that nothing they have seen led them to believe that Rice's actions were unusual or unlawful.

But Rice staunchly denies any allegations of wrongdoing.

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 US intelligence to hurt the Trump candidacy and then his presidency.

On NBC's Today, anchor Matt Lauer began the Rice report by complaining that she was being "dragged" into "the conversation on Russia" by the Trump Administration. Trump said in an interview with The New York Times this week.

On Thursday, Nunes announced he had been the subject of accusations to the House Ethics Committee related to the White House episode, ones he called baseless. In many instances, one official said, she did it to understand, per Obama's request, how far Russian meddling in the presidential election had gone and whether or not there was any possible collusion with Trump officials.

"There were occasions when I would receive a report in which a USA person was referred to, name not provided, just US person", Rice told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.

Well, first I would try to find out if these allegations are true.

Rice may now face an inquiry by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Republicans in Congress are concerned that classified material was improperly leaked to the news media and that communications of Trump associates had been improperly disseminated throughout government agencies.

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