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Susan Rice Testifies Why She Unmasked Names of Trump Associates

Image: Susan Rice Testifies Why She Unmasked Names of Trump Associates
Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice (Spence Platt/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 06:22 PM

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice told House investigators she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, CNN reported Wednesday.

The New York meeting preceded a separate effort by the UAE to facilitate a back-channel communication between Russia and the incoming Trump White House, CNN reported.

CNN, citing unnamed sources, reported crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan arrived in New York last December for a meeting with several top Trump transition officials, including Michael Flynn, the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his then-top strategist Steve Bannon.

The sources told CNN the Obama administration felt misled by the UAE, which had failed to mention Zayed was coming to the United States even though it is customary for foreign dignitaries to notify the U.S. government about their travels.

Rice, who served as then-President Barack Obama's National Security Adviser, told the House Intelligence Committee last week she requested the names of the Americans mentioned in the classified report be revealed internally, a practice officials in both parties say is common, CNN noted.

Unmasking the names of individuals in classified reports does not mean their identities will be revealed publicly, and Rice denied to the committee she leaked classified information to the press, CNN reported.

Rice had been called to the House Intelligence Committee to testify partly over what Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and other Republicans believed was an abuse in the practice of "unmasking" — or revealing the identities of Americans who were communicating with foreign officials under surveillance by the U.S. intelligence community.

"I didn't hear anything to believe that she did anything illegal," Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., helping to lead the panel's Russia investigation, told CNN.

And Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who is helping lead the House investigation, told The Daily Caller "nothing that came up in her interview that led me to conclude" she improperly unmasked the names of Trump associates or leaked it to the press.

"She was a good witness, answered all our questions," Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, heading the House Russia probe, told CNN. "I'm not aware of any reason to bring her back."

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, echoed his satisfaction with her testimony, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, "I think that people were very satisfied with her testimony, and I can certainly express my own view that I see no indication that she did anything at all wrong."

"In fact, I think that what she did in her role was perfectly appropriate," he said. "So I think that people were impressed with her testimony."

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Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, CNN reported Wednesday.
susan rice, testifies, unmasking, uae
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2017-22-13
Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 06:22 PM
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