Published: Wed, April 12, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jose Becker

Trump tells newspaper Obama aide might have broken the law

It might very well have been President Obama, Susan Rice and other members of the Obama administration who were actually doing the meddling to try to defeat Trump.

Trump was unclear what crime specifically he is accusing Rice of committing. "It is one of the big stories of our time".

The president would not provide any evidence for the claim, which has been debunked by numerous intelligence officials.

Rice herself has publicly denied any wrongdoing. "I leaked nothing to nobody", she said.

Rice declined to comment through a spokeswoman: "I'm not going to dignify the President's ludicrous charge with a comment".

The folks at CNN and MSNBC are working overtime to splash cold water all over the startling disclosure that President Barack Obama's national-security adviser, Susan Rice, was behind the "unmasking" of Trumpites in transcripts of calls with Russian officials. As the national security adviser, Rice would have been authorized to seek identities of people whose names were redacted from intelligence reports.

The National Security Agency, which conducts global eavesdropping for the US government, intercepts phone calls, email or other communications of suspected terrorists or foreign agents.

When a name is unmasked it is only provided to the official who requested it, and therefore unmasking is not equivalent to leaking the name.

"I think it's going to be the biggest story", Trump said.

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We can also find out how many others were involved as well as the motivation. Revealing the identities of Americans in this context is called "unmasking".

But right-leaning pundits this week have embraced a new revelation as proof that the Obama camp was indeed spying on Trump and trying to take him down, thus potentially validating Trump's claims that the whole "KremlinGate" story is "fake news" and a "witch hunt".

Those reports, which Nunes revealed in a news conference and were the foundation for a briefing he provided to the president, were uncovered by National Security Council officials working in the White House who, The Washington Post reported, secretly passed them on to Nunes. Ms. Rice would have had no obvious need to unmask Trump campaign officials other than political curiosity. "There is no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking".

As Herridge notes in her piece, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who temporarily stepped away from leading the investigation into Russia Thursday morning, expressed deep concern about the details in the reports he presented to the White House. There is no evidence she did anything illegal or illicit, as such requests are well within the purview of her previous position.

Given FBI Director James Comey's statements at a recent House Intelligence Committee hearing that the conclusion in the January 6 assessment that Russian Federation intervened in the election to help Trump was based on logic and not evidence, it is hard to believe this was not a pre-cooked conclusion driven by the highly partisan Brennan. USA officials may request-but not order-Americans' names unmasked for a few select reasons.

"I think she ought to testify under oath on this", Paul said, according to a Hill report.

If only we can do this with Trump's entire presidency.

The press conference came after Nunes reviewed classified documents that he says he got from a secret source.

"But I would say the American people have a right to know if there was surveillance of any private citizen in this country", he added in the Fox News interview.

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