Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Pence on Rice's 'unmasking' requests: Americans 'have a right to know'

ABC News — Unmasking is the word of the week inside Washington D.C ABC News — Unmasking is the word of the week inside Washington D.C
Ellis Copeland | 10 April, 2017, 00:59

The White House never explained exactly why Trump tweeted what he did, but right-leaning news reports making that claim were brought to Trump's attention at the time, as previously reported by ABC News.

"The allegation is that somehow the Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes", she said Tuesday.

As reported by Bloomberg, an unidentified source accused Rice of "requesting the identities of US persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign".

"Americans deserve to know if Pres Obamas National Security Adviser was involved in unmasking Trump transition figures for political purposes", tweeted South Carolina Sen.

However, there are 20 high-ranking officials within the US 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.

So Rice didn't do anything wrong in asking for redacted names to be "unmasked" in reports involving Trump people, so long as she kept those names to herself (and the president), but she reportedly is known for playing politics - or at least wanting to play politics - with classified information. Neither will happen, however, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday that any investigations into the claims made against Rice would be handled by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Neither allegation has been backed up by evidence. The rules specify that in most cases a "generic term", such as "U.S. Person 1" is used, instead of the actual name.

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Rice is a senior manager looking over the entire intelligence community. Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Devin Nunes, recently unveiled the bombshells that not only was Trump right about being monitored at Trump Tower but that fishy business was done in these murky waters to carry out the task.

When a name is unmasked it is only provided to the official who requested it, and therefore unmasking is not equivalent to leaking the name. The answers to those questions will be informative for determining whether there's cause for concern here.

The unmasking of Mr. Trump's associates in intelligence material dated back to nearly a year before the election, according to reports. When it comes to national security, it is allowable to listen in on American citizens under the assumption that there is a person of interest on the other end of the line. "I can drive a Mack truck through that".

Therefore, "contrary to Susan Rice's latest version of events", her actions have "little or nothing to do with whether laws were broken", Mr. McCarthy concluded. "He shouldn't have settled; personally I think he shouldn't have settled".

What she did vigorously dispute was any political motivation in the unmasking. "Nothing of the sort occurred", Rice said on PBS "NewsHour" in her first interview since leaving her White House job.

"Rice is not a law enforcement official", Eddington said. She also tried to dismiss this controversy by claiming NSA demasking requests are routine.

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