News Worms
News Worms


What you need to know about Susan Rice and the unmasking controversy

What you need to know about Susan Rice and the unmasking controversy

When asked if Rice had committed a crime, Trump said: "do I think?"

Congress must hold her accountable for her actions has they may have led to efforts to undermine the sitting President of the United States and violated the constitutional rights of American citizens.

On Tuesday, Rice denied being the person who leaked the identity of Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump's former national security adviser: "I leaked nothing to nobody and never have and never would". That process is called "unmasking", and Rice had the authority to do so while serving as national security adviser. He called Bannon "the leading anti-China voice in the White House" and said he believes that made the Chinese "uneasy".

Those reports, which Nunes revealed in a news conference and were the foundation for a briefing he provided to the president, were uncovered by National Security Council officials working in the White House who, The Washington Post reported, secretly passed them on to Nunes. The New York Times reported that the new president declined to say whether he had reviewed the intelligence reports but promised to explain himself "at the right time". According to five US intelligence officials, Rice followed standard procedure in requesting the National Security Agency to reveal to her the names of American citizens who had been in contact with Russians whose communications were monitored by USA intelligence. "There is no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking". Rice's official role would have given her the ability to make those requests for national security purposes.

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.

A source also told ABC News that on one occasion Rice requested the unmasking of Trump transition officials in a foreign intelligence report that had nothing to do with Russian Federation.

When asked whether Rice, who has denied leaking the names of Trump associates under surveillance by US intelligence agencies, had committed a crime, the president said, "Do I think?" "I leaked nothing to nobody, and never have and never would", Rice said. President Trump has been keen on tracking down any leakers. Individuals who are not targets of legal U.S. intelligence surveillance are normally referred to in classified reports as "U.S. Person One", "U.S. Person Two", etc.

Devin Nunes, the Republican head of the House Intelligence Committee, has been called a "clown" and an "amateur", along with much else, for the way he handled his recent revelation that associates of President Donald Trump were "incidentally" caught up in raw-intelligence collection previous year.

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