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December 16 2017, 10:40 | Guillermo Bowen
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.
It was revealed recently that during her time as government official, Rice requested names in intelligence documents detailing communications of the Trump transition team to be "unmasked". Identities of Americans in such reports are normally "masked" by calling them "U.S. Person 1" and "U.S. person 2", for example.
In some cases, Americans are communicating directly with the NSA's target.
How does incidental collection occur?
National-security correspondent Jim Sciutto (who joined the network straight from the Obama administration) labeled it "a ginned-up scandal" and President Trump's "latest attempt" to "divert attention from his team's contacts with Russian Federation". As Andrew McCarthy points out, "the thing to bear in mind is that the White House does not do investigations". Or a foreigner could be speaking directly to an American.
However, there are 20 high-ranking officials within the USA government who have to power to approve requests to reveal those identities if they deem that information is necessary to understanding the value of the intelligence. McConnell said it was his hope the Senate Intelligence Committee could make findings and offer a report created on a bipartisan basis.
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.
Nobody can forget the attack on the US diplomatic outpost in Libya in 2012. There is nothing improper, unusual or political about such requests. "Yes, I think." The president did not specify what law he thinks Rice may have broken. "Yes, I think." He added: "I think it's going to be the biggest story".
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.
"That is absolutely false".
There is no evidence that Rice improperly requested that names be unmasked. I wonder who gave her the order to behave in this way?
It's not unusual for the USA government to use intelligence collected from foreigners to get a sense of how other countries view the administration. Two congressional committees are also investigating Flynn as part of larger probes into the Kremlin's influence on the 2016 election and possible coordination with Trump associates.
In early December, Obama ordered a review of the Russia-related hacking.
He pointed to Rice's questionable past with truth-telling, recalling her public comments on Benghazi as she made the media circuit after the attack, repeating the claim that the spontaneous assault was sparked by an anti-Islamic video.
One is legal and the other isn't. But the blackout can be lifted if doing so is necessary to help under-stand the intelligence. This process is also termed as "unmasking". Unmasking was then the subject of a story by Eli Lake, a conservative columnist for Bloomberg View. "Even somewhat routine", and, "There are very plausible, legitimate reasons why she would request such information". The surveillance reports containing the names of Trump and his aides were still highly classified and viewable by a limited number of cleared individuals. Rice later clarified she was saying she didn't know what reports Nunes was referring to and said "I still do not".