Trump believes Susan Rice committed crime, declines to provide evidence

A handful of GOP lawmakers say that the House Intelligence Committee should investigate former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice's reported decision to unmask us citizens caught up in intelligence gathering.

In addition, the ex-Obama official also brushed off claims she went public with the names of Trump associates mentioned in the intelligence reports, saying, "I leaked nothing to nobody and never have and never would".

"I think it's going to be the biggest story", he said. "It is such an important story for our country and the world. It is one of the big stories of our time", he said without providing any evidence supporting the allegations against Rice.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the House intelligence committee wants Rice, national security adviser to Obama in his second term, to testify as part of its probe into Russia's meddling in the USA election and whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

President Trump has yet to provide or unearth proof that the Obama administration targeted him with surveillance, more than a month after initially making the stunning claim. The objective of that meeting, according to U.S., European and Arab officials, was to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and then-President elect-Trump.

Early Tuesday, Trump retweeted a report alleging Rice had ordered the compilation of "spreadsheets" detailing phone conversations between Trump associates and foreign officials intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies.

Susan Rice, national security adviser to President Barack Obama, likely will figure in congressional investigations of Russia's interference in the presidential election.

For her part, Ms. Rice appeared Tuesday on MSNBC and strongly denied allegations of political snooping.

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In January, the Justice Department and intelligence officials agreed on new rules giving more US agencies access to raw information picked up overseas by the National Security Agency.

Nunes, a close Trump political ally, discussed the matter with the Republican president before consulting committee Democrats.

"When the intelligence community would respond to a request from a senior national security official for the identity of an American, that would come back only to the person who requested it".

Further outrage comes from the editorial page of Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, which describes Rice's request for the uncensored names as "highly unusual-and troubling" and says of Nunes' allegation, "Now we know he is onto something".

It's fair to say they are more enthusiastic about that story.

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. The communications of these individuals were apparently collected incidentally during the course of electronic monitoring of communications involving foreign officials of interest. 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.

"There is a troubling direction that some of this is going in", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday. Normally, Americans' identities are masked, with generic references such as the title "U.S. Person One". However, these names are supposed to be masked - meaning the name or names are redacted from any reports - whether it is global or domestic collection, unless there is an issue of national security, a crime or if their security is threatened in any way.

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

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