Susan Rice: 'Absolutely false' that Obama played politics with intel
01:51, Apr 5, 2017
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Susan Rice, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, found herself in the headlines once again after reports surfaced showing she made "dozens" of requests to unmask Trump officials who were subject to incidental electronic surveillance.
As Monday morning dawned, several media outlets broke a story that gave new life to the ongoing political saga surrounding President Trump's allegations that the Obama administration had "spied" on him (as well as his campaign and transition teams).
"I realize there has been lots of discussion and controversy around this", Rice said. "Absolutely not for any political purposes, to spy, to expose, for anything".
However, it is not clear if Rice wanted to know the names under instruction to do so or if she acted on her own.
The White House - which has access to the intelligence that allegedly shows Rice was behind the unmasking - was playing coy. "No spreadsheet, nothing of the sort".
"The notion that some people are trying to suggest, is that by asking for the identity of a person is leaking it, is unequivocally false", Rice added.
In May 2015 interview, former Obama CIA Director Mike Morell said Rice's Benghazi talking points blaming an anti-Islam YouTube video crossed "the line between national security and politics". While it was legal for her to do this, it was highly unethical and would be a huge scandal if a Republican senior official sought the names of Democratic political opponents from USA intelligence reports.
Following her appointment as national security adviser, Rice created some waves in a 2014 interview where she appeared to offer pity for accused Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, who had just been released to the US. 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. Pursuant to USSID 18's procedures, intelligence reports summarizing information derived from the raw data would contain a redaction in place of the identity of each US person.
It has now been revealed by former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova thatRice ordered "detailed spreadsheets " of Donald Trump and his aides -while he was running for president. I don't solicit reports, I only receive what the intelligence community thinks I or any other senior official needs to see.
Rice's comments come as the two intelligence committees on Capitol Hill pursue independent investigations of Moscow's role in the presidential campaign, in addition to probes under way at the FBI and other intelligence agencies.
"There were occasions when I would receive a report in which a USA person was referred to". And liberals have rushed to the barricades to insist that this was perfectly legal, entirely appropriate, and even necessary for the national security of the United States. We can't be passive consumers of this information and not - and do our jobs effectively to protect the American people. "For us not to try to understand it would be a dereliction of duty".
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