Sen. Mark Warner: No Evidence To Support Trump's Political Snooping Claims

Sen. Mark Warner: No Evidence To Support Trump's Political Snooping Claims

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice categorically denied there was any political motivation behind her requests during the final days of the Obama administration to "unmask" the identities of USA persons listed in foreign intelligence reports.

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

"Americans deserve to know if Pres Obamas National Security Adviser was involved in unmasking Trump transition figures for political purposes", tweeted South Carolina Sen.

The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes of California, revealed last month that Trump and his campaign aides might have been swept up in US surveillance of foreign targets during the presidential election.

There is precisely zero evidence that Rice used this information - assuming the reports are true - for anything other than her own official purposes or did anything unholy. Rice called herself "shocked" when she saw Trump's post on Twitter that said Obama had "wiretapped" him - "It wasn't typical of the way presidents treat their predecessors", she said.

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Last month, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., made waves when he announced that the communications of Trump transition team members had been "incidentally" swept up by US intelligence agencies while they were conducting legal foreign surveillance.

Trump, asked by the Times if he believed Rice committed a crime, responded, "Do I think? That is absolutely false".

Rice said through a spokeswoman that she would not dignify "the president's ludicrous charge with a comment". Senior intelligence agency officials then decide whether that information can be provided without violating the legal guidelines.

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

Still, the White House has appeared to find other ways to promote the idea that Obama officials were conducting improper surveillance of Trump's team. But it sometimes picks up communications involving USA citizens who are not the target of the investigation.

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If the information involving Americans has no intelligence value, it is supposed to be destroyed.

FBI Director James Comey told Congress last month that an investigation examining Russian interference in the presidential election, and potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, began in late July. Lindsey Graham, a Rice enemy of many years.

Nunes also said he confirmed that "additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked".

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