Susan Rice Denies Playing Politics With Unmasking Requests

by Noah Mcgee April 5, 2017, 2:04

"The intelligence community, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has made it very clear".

RICE: Well, Andrea, this is not anything political has been alleged.

The focus has instead recently shifted to the issue of "unmasking", namely the circumstances in which a USA person's identity is revealed to the government officials reviewing the intelligence reports. He held US government national security positions for 25 years with the CIA, DIA, and the House Intelligence Committee staff. Fleitz also served as Chief of Staff to John R. Bolton when he was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security in the George W. Bush administration. The names of US citizens are normally redacted, or blocked out, in intelligence reports under the federal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. There is no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking.

Paul argued that it's a form of surveillance, even though there's no evidence that Trump was the subject of any surveillance conducted by the Obama administration. Rice's comments attracted criticism from members of the military and Republicans who viewed Bergdahl as a deserter and objected to the trade.

Rice categorically denied the president's claim from a month ago that Obama ordered a wiretapping of Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign - an allegation she said she "shocked" her.

The White House Counsel's office identified Rice as the person responsible for the unmasking after examining Rice's document log requests.

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She said there were times she reviewed a report that referred to an American who was unnamed.

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

At a March 20 House intelligence committee hearing, FBI Director James Comey addressed this issue when asked if Rice would have access to an unmasked American's name. 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. "Sometimes, in that context, in order to understand the importance of the report, and assess its significance, it was necessary to find out or request that information as to who that USA official was".

Rice denied that she had leaked details about Flynn's call, saying, "I leaked nothing to nobody". I don't solicit reports, I only receive what the intelligence community thinks I or any other senior official needs to see. In order to protect the privacy rights of those US persons, the government has imposed procedures for "minimizing" or "masking" those persons' identities.

She maintained, however, that asking for more information about names included in intelligence reports was a routine and necessary aspect of her job in protecting American security.

This is the same Susan Rice who also claimed in 2014 that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl "served the United States with honor and distinction" and that he "wasn't simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield".


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