Obama aide says intel not used to spy on Trump advisers

Apr 06, 2017, 02:41

Unmasking is the word of the week inside Washington, D.C.

Former national security adviser Susan Rice committed a "monumental abuse of power" in unmasking the names of American citizens included in intelligence reports previous year, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy said Wednesday.

But according to national security experts, Rice's actions are far from unprecedented, and are neither illegal nor unethical.

Rice said she was "surprised" and "shocked" to learn that Trump was recklessly tweeting baseless assertions that the Obama personally ordered wiretapping of any kind.

"I think it's going to be the biggest story", he said. For now, we know that the most important aspect of the Russia-hacking-wire-tapping-spying-Susan-Rice story is that Trump's transition team was in contact with Russian operatives and others - and it would be nice to know that they were only exploring critical questions related to cabbage. One wonders how long this surveillance of team Trump will remain a story with only Fox News and such outlets as The American Spectator. The president did not offer any evidence for his claims.

Rice has not confirmed or denied making the requests, but denies that any requests were politically motivated.

More news: Back at Georgetown, Ewing eyes 'new era' as basketball coach

Rice, in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday, said her senior White House role did give her the ability to request the names of Americans swept up through USA spy craft. "I've been called a lot of things by folks on the right that are unfair and disingenuous", she said.

In a statement today, a spokesperson for Rice, Erin Pelton, said, "I'm not going to dignify the president's ludicrous charge with a comment".

A month ago, President Donald Trump claimed Barack Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped. The identities of Americans who talk with those foreigners, or who are discussed in conversations between two non-U.S. persons, are hidden in intelligence reports.

Unless you happen to be a Mafia don or a drug kingpin, the US government doesn't spy on its citizens. She conceded that that could have resulted in Trump officials' communications being picked up and read by USA intelligence.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, BYLINE: Huge distinction here, Tam, asking for somebody's identity to be unmasked versus then leaking that identity.

More news: UN Chief arrives in Baghdad to review humanitarian situation

"There is a civil liberties component to this that should be very troubling in terms of the revelations that keep coming out", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday.

He declined to say if he had personally reviewed new intelligence to bolster his claim but pledged to explain himself "at the right time".

Rice told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell that she was sometimes asked for the identities of Americans which had previously been redacted; however, she added her job was never used for any political gain.

En fin, the crucial unmasking - Who is that masked man in the White House? - is yet to come.

Rice also denied knowledge that the Trump administration surveilled Trump associates last month on PBS's "News Hour".

You see how the focus keeps getting directed away from Russian Federation to the Obama administration or any other handy object. ABC and NBC didn't cover them on Monday's evening newscasts, while the "CBS Evening News" quoted a former official as saying Rice did "nothing improper or political".

More news: William Gallas responds brutally to Wenger naming Arsenal as London's 'only' team

It also appears that the monitoring at issue had little if anything to do with the investigation of Russian interference in the presidential election.

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

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

    She did not say whether she had viewed intelligence reports involving Mr Trump and his aides, citing classified information. There is no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking.

    Trump administration seeks delay in ruling on climate plan

    The White House did not respond to Associated Press emails seeking comment; the Department of Justice declined comment. But they said they'll take their first battle to the court of public opinion.
    Japanese envoy recalled home over statue dispute to return to Seoul

    Japanese envoy recalled home over statue dispute to return to Seoul

    Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday, April 3, Nagamine will fly back to Seoul on Tuesday along with the consul-general in Busan.
  • Meriden police stepping up distracted driving enforcement this month

    Distracted driving is any non-driving activity that has the potential to distract the driver and increase the risk of crashing. Washington law enforcement has been observing Distracted Driving Awareness Month with High Visibility Enforcement since 2014.
    Xbox One's New And Improved Dashboard Rolls Out Today

    Xbox One's New And Improved Dashboard Rolls Out Today

    Additionally, the background will now feature artwork from the game, provided you don't have custom background art already set. As I noted in my blog post from March 1 , we've provided new ways for customers to control when the update will occur.
    Knee injury sidelines Knicks' Rose for remainder of season

    Knee injury sidelines Knicks' Rose for remainder of season

    Those close to Rose expect him to be at full health two months after the surgery, which will be scheduled shortly. The Knicks announced that an MRI had revealed the injury and that Rose would require an arthroscopy.
  • Mason County homeowner arrested after shooting intruder

    Mason County homeowner arrested after shooting intruder

    The Mason County Sheriff's Office said in a post to Twitter that "there is more to the story". Fanning made a brief court appearance Monday, and a judge set bail at $250,000 .

    The Hardy Boyz enjoy Wrestlemania return! Matt and Jeff Hardy are back

    About 15 minutes later, Matt and Jeff won the Raw Tag Team Championship, cementing their return with the gold they craved. Anthem Media/Impact Wrestling sent Ring of Honor a cease and desist demand over Hardy's broken gimmick earlier this year.
    Knicks' Rose out for season with torn meniscus

    Knicks' Rose out for season with torn meniscus

    He missed the entire 2012-13 season, played only 10 games the following season, and missed substantial time in every season since. Thus ends a star-crossed season that began with a rape trial and pretty much sucked in a way that only a Knicks season can suck.
  • Tearful Thompson hit with penalty, then loses playoff

    Tearful Thompson hit with penalty, then loses playoff

    The 27-year-old Northern Irishman has played 99 practice holes so far, with nine more to come on Wednesday. The Indian, who was richer by $12,156 for her effort, also jumped four places in the world rankings to 95.

    The Fed isn't sure if Trump can deliver on his economic promises

    The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.38%, two basis points higher than just before the release. The Fed's dual mandates are to achieve maximum employment and moderate inflation.
    No more children for Kim Kardashian; she and Kanye consider surrogacy

    No more children for Kim Kardashian; she and Kanye consider surrogacy

    Sadly, though, after her surgery , Kim's worst fears were realized: She was informed that she definitely should not try for another child.