Reports: Susan Rice asked that names of Trump transition officials be ‘unmasked’


Reports: Susan Rice asked that names of Trump transition officials be ‘unmasked’

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 10: White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice, shakes hands with incoming White House National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn, during the 2017 Passing The Baton conference at the United States Institute of Peace, on January 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the unmasking of names of U.S. citizens who turned up in intelligence reports that are related to President Donald Trump’s transition activities, according to Bloomberg News.

According to the story, White House lawyers learned in March that Rice had requested the identities of U.S. residents whose names were collected during investigations of others. The names of U.S. citizens are normally redacted, or blocked out, in intelligence reports under the federal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Bloomberg reported that the National Security Council's senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, was conducting a review of the policy on naming American citizens who turn up in surveillance reports – a practice called unmasking – when he discovered Rice's requests to have the names made public. He told the White House General Counsel’s office about his findings, according to sources who asked not to be named.

According to a report from Fox News, “multiple sources” have told the network that Rice, the former UN ambassador, requested that the names be made public. 

Rice said recently in an interview with PBS that she knew nothing about the claims that Trump transition officials' names might have been collected in the surveillance of foreigners after the election. 

Both the House and the Senate are conducting investigations into any possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

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