What is 'unmasking' and why would Obama adviser do it?

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation, that Rice should "testify under oath" for her involvement in trying to exposing Trump associates, as their names appeared in raw intelligence reports collected by US intelligence operations.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on Fox News that he plans on looking into Rice's actions to discover if she intentionally mishandled classified material for political purposes.

"That Obama national security adviser Susan Rice is alleged to have been responsible for this unmasking is troubling given her history of deceit and her close relationship with then-President Obama", DeSantis said.

His spokesman Sean Spicer complained Monday that United States media was, in its focus on the Russian Federation issue, pursuing the wrong story.

"We will not stop until we find out what happened".

National Security Adviser Susan Rice, at the White House in Washington, July 22, 2015.

"If [unmasking] is allowed, we shouldn't be allowing it, but I don't think [we] should just discount how big a deal it is that Susan Rice was looking at these", Paul said to reporters on Monday. Rice's official role would have given her the ability to make those requests for national security purposes. The review was prompted by a belief that there were inefficiencies in the current procedures and concerns over a policy change made in the closing days of the Obama administration, according to the official, who insisted on anonymity in order to disclose the sensitive information.

The U.S. official said Trump's National Security Council began an intelligence policy review after the inauguration that included looking into how widely raw intelligence and the names of Americans were disseminated.

The unmasking review was led by Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the NSC's senior director of intelligence.

Cohen-Watnick raised his findings about Rice with the White House counsel's office, according to the official.

But Trump supporters believe Rice's actions show the Obama administration was out to get Trump and may have even surveilled him.

"Right now, there's a cloud swirling over the White House", said Eric Swalwell, a Democratic member of Nunes's panel.

Rice's interview came amid a growing controversy that the Obama administration abused USA intelligence to spy on the Trump campaign and leak intelligence to the press to hurt Trump. While it was legal for her to do this, it was highly unethical and would be a huge scandal if a Republican senior official sought the names of Democratic political opponents from USA intelligence reports. Even Republicans who have been critical of White House efforts to muddy the Russian Federation investigations have said it is imperative to get to the bottom of her handling of Trump-related intelligence. She conceded that that could have resulted in Trump officials' communications being picked up and read by U.S. intelligence.

  • Salvatore Jensen