Bob Woodward said if the reports are true that members of the intelligence community decided to unmask the identities of diplomats over nothing more than "highly classified gossip," those responsible could be in trouble — the criminal kind.
Appearing as a guest on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor," Woodward said it would be "a gross violation" if it's true.
"It's not what (President Donald) Trump said about him being wiretapped directly but apparently a couple of diplomats, who can be legitimately wiretapped, were talking about meeting with Trump or people on his transition team … you can learn all types of things from diplomats gossiping," Woodward told host Bill O'Reilly.
Woodward said there are but 20 people within the intelligence community with the authority to lift the "minimization" if they believe the intelligence gathered is relevant.
"Under the rules — and they're pretty strict — it's called 'mimimization,'" Woodward said. "You don't name the American person who's being discussed. But the idea that there was intelligence value here is really thin.
"This could be criminal on the part of people who decided, 'Oh, let's name these people,'" Woodward said.
"You've got a real serious problem, potentially, of people in the Obama administration passing around this highly classified gossip."
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