Washington. Obama Administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice stated Tuesday that she did not “unmask” the names of Trump associates for political purposes, but described the process of asking for the intelligence community to reveal the names of U.S. citizens as a “longstanding, established process.”
The ongoing criminal investigation into Rice’s “unmasking” is an outgrowth of the investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 presidential election. President Trump has denied any collusion with Russia, and instead has said the investigation should focus on his claims that President Barack Obama ordered surveillance on Trump Tower.
Rice was responding to allegations raised by FBI agents, that she used her office to request information about Trump transition officials. While she would not discuss specific information that she asked for, Rice did describe the process of “unmasking” Americans mentioned in intelligence reports as routine. Rice went on to plead in desperation her innocence, “The allegation is that Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes,That’s absolutely false.”
“There were occasions when I would receive a report in which a U.S. person was referred to, name not provided,” Rice said. Adding if she felt the name of that person was important to understand the significance of the intelligence, she would ask her intelligence analysts for more information.
Ms.Rice is the target currently of multiple Federal investigations and well known for misrepresenting events, especially after she downplayed the role that terrorists had in the assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2012 where the US ambassador was murdered along with his CIA security team.