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Trump tells newspaper Obama aide might have broken the law

In addition, the ex-Obama official also brushed off claims she went public with the names of Trump associates mentioned in the intelligence reports, saying, "I leaked nothing to nobody and never have and never would". In that capacity, she oversaw the National Security Council Staff, chairs the Cabinet-level National Security Principals Committee, provided the president's daily national security briefing, and was responsible for the coordination and integration of the administration's foreign policy, intelligence and military efforts.

Rice told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell that she was sometimes asked for the identities of Americans which had previously been redacted; however, she added her job was never used for any political gain.

Rice denies leaking information about Trump associates. Maybe these intelligence agents were not tapping the telephones of the Trump team, and maybe they were not tapping the candidate soon to be president-elect's calls.

Further outrage comes from the editorial page of Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, which describes Rice's request for the uncensored names as "highly unusual-and troubling" and says of Nunes' allegation, "Now we know he is onto something". She was similarly vilified during the Benghazi investigation for appearing on news shows immediately after the attack on the Libyan compound and suggesting the violence might have been spontaneous and not necessarily the work of organized Islamic militants - a point of view induced either by, depending on whom you believe, the fog of battle or some ill-considered political spin that was dropped soon after. "And sometimes in that context, in order to understand the importance of the report, and assess its significance, it was necessary to find out, or request the information, as to who the USA official was", Rice said.

I think it's going to be the biggest story.

"There is an established process for senior national security officials to ask for the identity of USA persons in these reports", she added. Either their names were brought up in conversations by foreigners, or they communicated directly with a foreign surveillance target.

Unless you happen to be a Mafia don or a drug kingpin, the US government doesn't spy on its citizens.

More news: Dustin Johnson, No. 1 and headed in the right direction

How does incidental collection occur?

The reports were likely based on routine surveillance of foreign officials. After the Benghazi massacre, which left four Americans, including a US ambassador, dead, Rice was paraded around the TV shows.

If Rice or someone else in the Obama administration did request the unmasking of Trump associates, would it be a crime? That is when two sources in the intelligence community came to him and told him who was responsible and at least, according to Fox, one of the names of those who were unmasked. Though he didn't elaborate on what those reasons might have been, the pertinent regulations specify that unmasking might be requested, and allowed, if the names in question are pertinent to foreign intelligence.

In the case of this controversy, Rep.

A Monday report by Bloomberg's Eli Lake said that Rice requested the unmasking of Trump officials. Trump also said that other Obama administration officials may have been involved, declining to cite any evidence for the claim but telling reporters he would "at the right time".

The dispute revolves around so-called "incidental collection"- when USA intelligence agencies inadvertently pick up the names or conversations of US persons on wiretaps or other communications intercepts.

"Absolutely false", Rice declared Tuesday. "No spreading. Nothing of the sort".

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