Obama aide denies using intel to spy on Trump advisers

Obama aide denies using intel to spy on Trump advisers
Obama aide denies using intel to spy on Trump advisers
Author

05 April, 2017

The national media had a slow start to covering a highly consequential report that said Susan Rice, national security adviser in the Obama administration, requested names of Trump transition team members who were incidentally caught up in US surveillance, the Washington Examiner reported.

"The allegation is that somehow Obama administration officials utilised intelligence for political purposes, that is absolutely false", she said.

Bradley P. Moss is a partner at the Washington, D.C. Law Office of Mark S. Zaid, P.C., where he has represented countless individuals (including whistleblowers) serving within the intelligence community, and is also the deputy executive director of the James Madison Project, through which he has represented media outlets such as Politico, Gawker, Daily Caller, and the Daily Beast in FOIA lawsuits against the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations.

Paul said that Rice should explain why she allegedly unmasked the names of Trump and his staffers.

Since news broke Monday that the Obama Administration's National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, directed the "unmasking" of NSA intercepts of Trump associates, CNN has raced to shoot down the blockbuster report.

Despite outrage from Trump's supporters, experts say it would be within Rice's rights to order names of Americans to be unmasked if there was some intelligence value, and particularly if that information pertained to an investigation.

"If I saw an intelligence report that looked potentially significant ..." She gave, as a hypothetical answer, "if two foreigners were having a conversation" about a possible bombing with an American.

Months after the attack, Rice's comments in the wake of the attack were used as grist by Senate Republicans who said they could not support her as Clinton's successor.

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So when that occurred, what I would do, or what any official would do, is to ask their briefer whether the intelligence committee would go through its process, and there's a long-standing established process, to decide whether that information as to who the identity of the USA person was could be provided to me.

"The pattern of Rice's requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government's policy on "unmasking" the identities of individuals in the US who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally", Lake wrote.

But she said that even if those names were "unmasked" by a member of the Obama administration, that information wouldn't be disseminated broadly. "There's no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking".

The Trump White House has been particularly incensed that intercepted conversations between national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia's ambassador to the US surfaced in news reports before the inauguration. "That is absolutely false".

Schiff explained that when the USA is "doing lawful surveillance for the objective of gathering foreign intelligence" and a surveillance target mentions a United States citizen or business, that can constitute "incidental collection".

While this new information adds another layer of intrigue into what was going on during the campaign, it would still seem to fall short of proving the president's original claim back on March 4 that he was being "wiretapped" by President Obama. In fact, what we know is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the former director of national intelligence and even House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes, R-California, have said definitively that Trump was not wiretapped.

"Obama pal and noted dissembler Susan Rice said to have been spying on Trump campaign".


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