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Obama aide denies using intel to spy on Trump advisers

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was on the Hugh Hewitt Show this morning to discuss the latest bombshell development that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice requested the unmasking on at least one person involved in Trump transition team. Sen.

The Administration has pushed back on the reports of Russian Federation contacts by saying they stem from efforts by Obama officials to undermine Trump.

It's unclear if the information Nunes received is the same as the materials involving Rice.

"The allegation is that somehow Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes". But we also know that the Obama administration later changed the classification of the "unmasked" transcripts, and other similar material, in order to spread the information as widely as possible within the government.

"I never have and never would", Rice said.

RICE: Well, Andrea, this is not anything political has been alleged.

"Absolutely false", she said when asked if there was any truth to it. "No spreadsheet, nothing of the sort". So the notion which some people are trying to suggest that by asking for the identity of an American person, that is the same as leaking it, is completely false.

More news: I want my kids to have siblings: Kim Kardashian

Rice, in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday, said her senior White House role did give her the ability to request the names of Americans swept up through US spy craft. Americans who are caught up in incidental surveillance in foreign intelligence gatherings are not supposed to have their names revealed, unless this would be relevant to the actual foreign intelligence.

Following her appointment as national security adviser, Rice created some waves in a 2014 interview where she appeared to offer pity for accused Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, who had just been released to the US. He brought that information to the NSC's legal counsel - who told Cohen-Watnick to suspend his review.

"Does this White House look at what she allegedly requested as a national security issue?" For instance, the foreigners could be talking about an American by name.

The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group published a report Monday quoting former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova, while a few other media outlets cited "sources".

The identities of USA persons in intelligence reports are normally "masked", or redacted, but can be unmasked under certain circumstances. "I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today". In order to protect the privacy rights of those US persons, the government has imposed procedures for "minimizing" or "masking" those persons' identities. The intelligence community then process that request through their normal procedures and if they feel they can give the answer, they will give the answer. It is necessary for the Secretary of State, or the Secretary of Defense, or the Central Intelligence Agency director to do their jobs. "We can't be passive consumers of this information and do our jobs effectively to protect the American people". "To not understand it would be a dereliction of duty".

McCAIN: "I think the circumstances indicate that there's a possibility that that request could have been politically motivated".

Sciutto also claimed the story was "ginned up" to distract from Trump tweeting that the Trump Tower was "wiretapped", when it was in fact communications were picked up through ordinary NSA surveillance.

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