Obama aide denies using intel to spy on Trump advisers

Posted April 05, 2017

I don't solicit reports, I only receive what the intelligence community thinks I or any other senior official needs to see.

Rice also called "absolutely false" there was no collection or surveillance on Trump Tower or Trump's team directed by the White House.

MITCHELL: And you could have asked for those names - American #1, American #2, however it is identified, to be unmasked so you would know how significant it was? Collections of this nature are done with a warrant from a foreign intelligence surveillance court, as created by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (hence the nickname, FISA Court), which does not directly target US citizens'. Each person must log her name before being granted access to them.

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.

The new news reports come barely two weeks after Rice denied knowing anything about the intelligence reports.

Yes. A USA official who spoke on condition of anonymity did not offer detail on the types of reports Rice was reviewing or the motivations behind it.

Long a favorite target of the Republicans, Rice was plunged into controversy after blogger Mike Cernovich, best known for promoting the bogus story that a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor was a nest of pedophiles connected to Hillary Clinton, claimed she had sought to "unmask" Trump campaign aides. Again: Rice's role in this has been known for a day.

"There were occasions when I would receive a report in which a USA person was referred to".

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Trump and his allies have focused on Rice's handling of surveillance data as they fend off questions about multiple investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the president's associates had any improper contacts with Russia's government.

In early December, Obama ordered a review of the Russia-related hacking.

The extend of the unmasking became apparent when NSC Intelligence Director Ezra Cohen-Watnick was conducting a review of unmasking and dissemination policy.

One is legal and the other isn't. If that happens, it is considered a compliance incident, said Todd Hinnen, head of the Justice Department's National Security Division during the Obama administration and a National Security Council staff member under George W. Bush.

Rice spoke in generalities about the unmasking process, emphasizing that intelligence reports were first brought to her and that she did not "solicit reports". That leak, while it revealed that Flynn was being less than truthful with the United States public, was illegal.

Disclosing any of the classified contents of intelligence collected under the authorities of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, is illegal.

On Sept. 16, 2012 Susan Rice went on five national news shows and said the Benghazi terror attack was a "spontaneous reaction to an offensive video".

"I'm not denying that she routinely requested the unmasking of individuals", the source close to Rice said, adding that any instance of unmasking would have been necessary to understand the value of the intelligence being presented to her.