05 April, 2017
Records are kept of such requests.
Rice appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, and CNN and regurgitated talking points purporting that the protests that had erupted "spontaneously" near two US government facilities in Benghazi, Libya and were a result of a "hateful video" that was offensive to Islam. However, Rice contends that the requests were for a legitimate goal and not to spy on Trump. Cotton said that unmasking is usually done within the parameters of a law enforcement or intelligence investigation.
That comes back to me, not to anybody broadly in the national security world, and that is necessary for me to do my job.
This is the same Susan Rice who told bald faced lies for days about the Benghazi attack that killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. Lake also broke the story that Rice asked for the demaskings in this report. "That's absolutely false", she told MSNBC television. So they're giving it to me, if I read it, and I think that in order for me to really understand is it significant or not so significant, I need to understand who the USA person is, I can make that request. That would be an example of a case where knowing who the USA person was was necessary to assess the information.
"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 find out who that US official was", Rice said. But there are some likely explanations for why Rice would have been briefed on intelligence involving the incoming administration.
The first and third tweets, with "wires tapped" and "wire tapping" in quotes, with spaces between the two words, should make it clear that Trump was referring to how the intelligence community characterizes wiretapping, which is basically all forms of electronic surveillance.
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Democrats says the Rice story is a smokescreen meant to distract from the Russian election probe.
The unmasking review was led by Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the NSC's senior director of intelligence.
Per Rogers: first, a "valid need to know", and, second, an affirmative answer to the question: "Is the identification necessary to truly understand the intelligence value the report is created to generate?"
Until that occurs, however, claims that the unmasking was illegal or unethical remain premature and likely erroneous. If that happens, it is considered a compliance incident, said Todd Hinnen, head of the Justice Department's National Security Division during the Obama administration and a National Security Council staff member under George W. Bush. Cotton said no. He also said that they wouldn't see transcript of intercepts since that's raw intelligence that's curated by analysts into a finished product that's reviewed by him and his colleagues on the committee. That leak, while it revealed that Flynn was being less than truthful with the USA public, was illegal.
"I'm not denying that she routinely requested the unmasking of individuals", the source close to Rice said, adding that any instance of unmasking would have been necessary to understand the value of the intelligence being presented to her.