Obama’s Susan Rice Sought Names of Trump Team from Intel
Last month White House lawyers discovered that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of US persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to The Trump Transition Team and Campaign.
The pattern of Ms. Rice’s requests was discovered in a National Security Council (NSC) review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” the identities of individuals in the US who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally.
Normally, such names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations.
The National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, was conducting the review.
In February Mr. Cohen-Watnick discovered Ms. Rice’s multiple requests to unmask US persons in intelligence reports that related to The Trump Transition Teams activities.
He then brought the information to the attention of the White House General Counsel’s office, who reviewed more of Ms. Rice’s requests.
The intelligence reports were summaries of monitored conversations, primarily between foreign officials discussing The Trump Transition, and in some cases direct contact between members of The Trump Team and monitored foreign officials.
The reports contained valuable political information on The Trump Transition such as whom The Trump Team was meeting, the views of President-elect Trump associates on foreign policy matters and plans for his incoming administration.
Her role in requesting the identities of Trump Transition Team officials adds an important element to the investigations surrounding the Trump White House since the President’s Inauguration.
Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA), is investigating how the Obama White House kept tabs on The Trump Transition after the election through unmasking the names of President-elect Trump’s associates incidentally collected in government eavesdropping of foreign officials.
Ms. Rice not spoken directly on the issue of unmasking.
This news about Ms. Rice sheds light on the activities of Mr. Nunes in the last 2 weeks. It was learned and reported last week that he traveled to the White House last month just before he declared that The Trump Transition officials were caught up in incidental surveillance. There he viewed computer systems within the National Security Council that included the logs of Ms. Rice’s requests to unmask US persons.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) viewed the reports Friday. He has declined to discuss the contents of the reports
“Indeed, much about this is highly unusual: if not how the surveillance was collected, then certainly how and why it was disseminated.” said columnist Eli Lake, the former senior national security correspondent for the Daily Beast
Ms. Rice did not respond to an e-Mail seeking comment Monday morning.