Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice has been identified as the official who helped President Obama illegally unmask members of the incoming Trump administration.
Fox News Correspondent, Adam Housley, revealed on Friday that Intel Chair Devin Nunes knew who was responsible for unmasking the identities of the Trump team.
On Sunday, activist Mike Cernovich finally revealed that the identity of the unmasker was none other than Susan Rice.
After carefully examining document log requests, the White House Counsel’s office idenfitied Rice as the person responsible for the leaks. The reports Rice asked to see are kept under extremely controlled conditions. After learning about Rice’s illegal actions, H.R. McMaster dispatched his aide Derek Harvey to brief Charman Nunes.
“Unmasking” is the process of identifying individuals whose communications were caught in the dragnet of intelligence gathering. While conducting investigations into terrorism and other related crimes, intelligence analysts incidentally capture conversations about parties not subject to the search warrant. The identities of individuals who are not under investigation are kept confidential, for legal and moral reasons.
Under President Obama, the unmasking rules were changed. Circa originally reported:
As his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats, Circa has learned.
Three people close to President Obama, including his “fall guy” for Benghazi (Susan Rice), had authorization to unmask.
Among those cleared to request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports about U.S. citizens were Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, his CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Not even mainstream outlets denied that some Trump officials had been spied on, with the NY Times reporting:
WASHINGTON — A pair of White House officials helped provide Representative Devin Nunes of California, a Republican and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with the intelligence reports that showed that President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.
According to WaPo, there were three sources for the reports, with Michael Ellis ultimately being blamed by WaPo and AP.
What’s striking about the Times story is the spin it took. Trump had previously claimed he had been “wire tapped” (quotation marks in his original Tweet), leading to media screams that he prove it. The Times’ own reporting proves that President Trump and his associates were spied on.
The Times, rather than admit Trump had been vindicated, instead focused its attention on the question of who leaked the reports to Nunes:
Since disclosing the existence of the intelligence reports, Mr. Nunes has refused to identify his sources, saying he needed to protect them so others would feel safe going to the committee with sensitive information. In his public comments, he has described his sources as whistle-blowers trying to expose wrongdoing at great risk to themselves.
Since when did journalists attempt to unmask sources? The Times, WaPo, and other outlets rely on anonymous sources in nearly every article about national security. It’s clear they have an agenda — that agenda is not telling the truth.
This reporter has been informed that Maggie Haberman has had this story about Susan Rice for at least 48 hours, and has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.