Former CIA Analyst: Susan Rice's NSA demasking denials don't add up

"White House lawyers", Lake wrote, "last month learned 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 Donald Trump transition and campaign".

The New York Times reported that the new president declined to say whether he had reviewed the intelligence reports but promised to explain himself "at the right time".

Shedd, who had the authority to ask for Americans' names to be unmasked when he held positions on the National Security Council, contends that it's unlikely intelligence officials would reject a request to unmask an identity from a person in authority such as Rice.

The names of US citizens "incidentally" mentioned in NSA reports are masked to preserve their identities because America's intelligence agencies are barred from spying on American citizens except in extraordinary circumstances with court approval. In an interview Tuesday with MSNBC, she said: "The allegation is that somehow the Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes".

And while USA intelligence sources told Fox News that unmasking requests escalated after Trump was elected, Rice claimed she didn't remember.

FILE - In this July 7, 2016 file photo, then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice is seen on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. "It is such an important story for our country and the world". Later on Wednesday, Erin Pelton, a spokesman for Rice, said in an email to Reuters: "I'm not going to dignify the President's ludicrous charge with a comment".

"I think it's going to be the biggest story", Trump said, per The New York Times.

Rice also denied leaking anything to the media, and she said people in Trump's inner circle and/or those who worked in Trump Tower were not specifically targeted for any surveillance operations during the Obama administration.

REP. CASTRO: I wouldn't be surprised if, after all of this is said and done, that some people end up in jail. What we're seeing here is USA officials doing jobs to respond to what had markers of a counterintelligence threat: "the Trump campaign".

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) first suggested that he had seen intelligence reports that contained the identities of Trump associates, including some where the names were masked but were easily identifiable.

Trump on Wednesday continued to stand by his wiretapping allegation, which has no discernible basis in fact.

If Rice or someone else in the Obama administration did request the unmasking of Trump associates, would it be a crime? Some Trump allies have accused Rice of unmasking officials for political reasons.

The hounding was so intense that Rice asked Obama to withdraw her nomination to become secretary of state following the departure of Hillary Clinton.

House Democrats introduced a resolution that the White House not alter any Russian "sanctions, treaties, military aid or diplomatic relations" until the FBI concludes its investigation.

  • Rogelio Becker