Ex-Obama security advisor Rice denies Trump spying charges

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.

The identities of USA persons in intelligence reports are normally "masked", or redacted, but can be unmasked under certain circumstances.

And in yet another appearance, Sciutto also setup something of a strawman, arguing that the unmasking story is not important because "unmasking is not leaking".

Paul argued that it's a form of surveillance, even though there's no evidence that Trump was the subject of any surveillance conducted by the Obama administration. But let me explain this: First of all, Andrea, to talk about the contents of a classified report, to talk about the individuals on the foreign side, who were the targets of the report itself, or any Americans who may have been collected upon, incidentally, is to disclose classified information.

"From her perspective she didn't know what specific unmasking Devin Nunes and others are talking about, in part because that is something she asks - or asked during the regular course of her work as national security adviser", he said.

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.

"If I were to characterize her, whether it's playing basketball or anything else, she's fearless", Albright said about Rice in a Washington Post interview during her time as the top U.S. diplomat.

"I know nothing about this", Rice said of Nunes remarks in the PBS interview.

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?

Rice continued to staunchly deny any allegations of spying, saying that the requests were ordinary and similar to those of other national security officials.

If that's where the story ends, then she was nearly certainly legally exercising the broad powers high-level U.S. national security officials have to review reports produced by the intelligence community.

This is typically done because the official needs the name to understand the full context of the report. In order to protect the privacy rights of those USA persons, the government has imposed procedures for "minimizing" or "masking" those persons' identities.

It wouldn't surprise me if former Deputy National Security Council Ben Rhodes was deeply involved in this campaign.

This is the same Susan Rice who also claimed in 2014 that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl "served the United States with honor and distinction" and that he "wasn't simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield".

Many on Twitter were quick to note that two people with prominent access to the president were praising the words and actions of a man who had made many claims they found extremely objectionable.

  • Aubrey Nash