What you need to know about Susan Rice and the unmasking controversy

"It's such an important story for our country and the world", President Trump said of the Rice scandal during a photo-op with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office, according to the New York Times. At this moment, the right wing media is going bonkers over reports that Susan Rice, who was national security adviser at the time, in 2016 requested the "unmasking" of certain USA persons who had been picked up in surveillance of foreign intelligence targets. Trump's remarks are his first public statement on the subject since reports claimed Rice was responsible. But she would not say whether she saw intelligence on President Donald Trump's associates or whether she asked for their identities, saying that information would be classified.

But the White House and some Republican allies have continued their focus on leaks and lately on unmasking.

Trump also defended Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday amid reports this week that Fox and O'Reilly paid $13 million in five settlements with women who claimed O'Reilly sexually harassed them.

"The allegation is that somehow the Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes", Rice said on MSNBC on Tuesday.

In a new interview at Fox Business, Paul predicts that purported Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election "will go on the back burner" as focus intensifies on United States surveillance of people associated with Trump. Trump launched the first salvo last month when he tweeted that Obama had wiretapped his NY skyscraper, an explosive allegation that senior intelligence and law enforcement officials have denied. Republicans and Democrats have agreed on the witnesses to be called, Ryan said. "This seems nothing more than buying time and obstructionism". "Yes, I think." He did not indicate what crime he felt she might have committed.

Rice did not detail which Trump officials she unmasked or why, but current and former USA officials have told ABC News it happened on a number of occasions.

That might be exactly what President Trump wants - a distraction from the investigations. A congressional aide said there were more than a dozen people on the witness list.

Castro is a member of the House committee investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Trump did not repeat his claim at a White House news conference shortly after the Times interview. She admitted she sometimes asked for the names of citizens whose identities were deleted from her daily intelligence briefings to ensure she fully understood the context of the information she was given.

Graham is the chairman of a Senate subcommittee that oversees the counterintelligence division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the potential ties between Trump's camp and Russian Federation.

  • Carolyn Briggs