Obama aide denies using intel to spy on Trump advisers

Rice told Mitchell that the claim coming from Trump and his supporters that Obama officials like her unmasked names for political supporters was "absolutely false".

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

In January, the Justice Department and intelligence officials agreed on new rules giving more US agencies access to raw information picked up overseas by the National Security Agency. Unmasking normally occurs by law enforcement or intelligence analysts who need it to conduct an investigation or to understand the raw intelligence.

Ms Rice said she could only request the identity of U.S. citizens in spy reports if that helped understand the intelligence better.

From nearly the outset of the interview, Rice did not make an effort to deny that she was involved in requests to unmask the identities of Americans inadvertently caught up in intelligence signals intercepts.

Bloomberg and Fox News reported this week that Rice had requested the names of Trump transition officials be unveiled in classified intelligence reports about foreign citizens. As I've said, and I'll probably say many more times because I'm kind of boring, this is a centipede.

But government documents, released following a Judicial Watch lawsuit, reveal that government officials monitoring the attack in real-time did not cite an anti-Islam video as an explanation for the paramilitary attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

If an official reviewing the report wants to know the identity, the official can request that the agency that collected the information "unmask" the name. "They were going to use the intelligence apparatus to attack Trump, and I think they did".

Cernovich also writes the blog Danger and Play, where he wrote such pieces as "What is Rape", claiming women cry rape at every encounter, back when the blog was more men's rights-focused, and "Podesta Spirit Cooking Emails Reveal Clinton's Inner Circle as Sex Cult with Connections to Human Trafficking", which said that Hillary Clinton's campaign chair was involved in a group that practiced "symbolic cannibalism". Republican lawmakers seized on those leaks in ensuing months.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation, that Rice should "testify under oath" for her involvement in trying to exposing Trump associates, as their names appeared in raw intelligence reports collected by US intelligence operations.

Rice said it was "possible" that information about Trump associates was picked up incidentally during surveillance of a foreign target.

Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee probing the Russian Federation scandal, has tried to direct attention to how the Obama administration used intelligence reports. 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. "Whether or not she did it this time, I don't know, but it's something Congress should look into", he added.

"I leaked nothing to nobody", she told MSNBC Tuesday afternoon. "I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today".

  • Aubrey Nash