Maybe it was the Obama administration doing the meddling

Brunilde Fioravanti
Aprile 17, 2017

President Trump said Wednesday without offering evidence that Susan Rice, President Obama's national security advisor, may have committed a crime past year by seeking the identity of Trump associates referred to anonymously in classified intelligence reports.

The president did not say whether he has seen any new intelligence to support his claims.

Rice, meanwhile says it's "absolutely false" that the previous administration used intelligence about Mr. Trump's associates for political purposes.

When Americans are swept up in surveillance of foreign officials by intelligence agencies, their identities are supposed to be obscured, but they can be revealed for national security reasons, and intelligence officials say it is a regular occurrence. If the intelligence community professionals decide that there's some value, national security, foreign policy or otherwise in unmasking someone, they will grant those requests", former Obama State Department spokeswoman and Fox News contributor Marie Harf told Fox News' Martha MacCallum on "The First 100 Days.

"The intelligence community made the determination whether the identity of that US person could be provided to me", Rice said.

Rice, in an interview with MSNBC, acknowledged that she sometimes asked for the names of Americans referenced in reports.

When Rice was asked if she was the one who leaked former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn's name, she responded, "I leaked nothing to nobody, and never have and never would". Former CIA Acting Director John McLaughlin also defended Rice, saying, "she was doing her job". For now, we know that the most important aspect of the Russia-hacking-wire-tapping-spying-Susan-Rice story is that Trump's transition team was in contact with Russian operatives and others - and it would be nice to know that they were only exploring critical questions related to cabbage. A congressional aide said there were more than a dozen people on the list.

"I think he's a person I know well - he is a good person", Trump said, adding that he didn't think O'Reilly should have settled the lawsuits. Often, such names as blanked out, or "masked" in such reports. Senior intelligence agency officials then decide whether that information can be provided without violating the legal guidelines.

Rice did not detail which Trump officials she unmasked or why, but current and former USA officials have told ABC News it happened on a number of occasions. In the course of that operation, so it is said, various individuals connected to Donald Trump were also recorded.

The National Security Council (NSC) has reportedly been tasked with looking into the matter.

Bloomberg reporter Eli Lake confirmed this in a bombshell April 3 report in which he said the demasked reports "contained valuable political information on the Trump transition".

Graham and his colleagues pilloried Rice following the 2012 attack on the USA diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, after she appeared on TV in Washington and said the deadly raid had been caused by protests over an incendiary anti-Muslim video. USA law allows intelligence agencies broad authority to surveil foreign targets, but the names of US citizens must be masked to protect their constitutional rights.

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