President Trump told Fox News on Wednesday that former national security adviser Susan Rice "may have" committed a crime by trying to unmask the identities of Trump associates caught up in surveillance reports - though the ex-Obama official contends her actions were routine and above board. He told the Times he would say more "at the right time". Rice called herself "shocked" when she saw Trump's post on Twitter that said Obama had "wiretapped" him - "It wasn't typical of the way presidents treat their predecessors", she said.
Rice has acknowledged that she had asked for the "unmasking" of unidentified names numerous times during her tenure as national security adviser and that there was nothing improper about these requests. These names are usually redacted or even given vague descriptors like "Male 1". US law allows intelligence agencies broad authority to surveil foreign targets, but the names of USA citizens must be masked to protect their constitutional rights.
Ms. Rice admitted Tuesday that she had unmasked the names of several Trump campaign associates included in intelligence data that had been collected incidentally, though she said it was done "not for any political purposes".
This is published unedited from the IANS feed.
Rice's interview came amid a growing controversy that the Obama administration abused USA intelligence to spy on the Trump campaign and leak intelligence to the press to hurt Trump. They ended their report by shifting the blame back on Trump, just as ABC and NBC did, by airing a prediction from Democrat Congressman Joaquin Castro that some in Trump's team would end up in jail after this investigation was over. Page, referred to in the filing as "Male-1", is not accused of wrongdoing and said in a statement that he shared "basic immaterial information and publicly available research documents".
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"Basically he's angry at all government officials", Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden said at the press conference on Friday. Police said he was known to officers and had previously been imprisoned for trying to disarm a police officer.
However, the unmasking went beyond former national security adviser Mike Flynn and Russian Federation, and the content of the detailed reports suggests anything but routine. She would not say whether she saw intelligence related to Trump associates or whether she asked for their identities, though she did say that reports related to Russian Federation increased in the final months of the presidential election campaign. Trump said in an interview with The New York Times this week.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has called the intelligence docs a "smoking gun", asserting Rice should be subpoenaed to testify over the matter in court. Flynn was forced to resign as national security advisor after he admitted he had misled White House officials about those conversations.
Well, first I would try to find out if these allegations are true.
A source in the Senate Intelligence Committee had a similar story. The associates' names were then illegally leaked to the press.
Schiff has declined to comment on the contents of the documents, while Nunes has said they caused him concern.