Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice should not have been "acting as a cop or an FBI agent" while asking for names to be unmasked from intelligence reports, as that was not her job, Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., said Wednesday.
"She said she wasn't doing it for spying purposes," King told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "I don't know what she would be doing acting as a cop or FBI agent. That was not her job. Her job was to coordinate policy."
However, the claims being made Rice had unmasked names from President Donald Trump's transition team and then made them available to the intelligence community are adding a dimension to what House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has said about surveillance from the White House.
It is important for Rice to be called in as a witness before the House and Senate intelligence committee hearings, King said. However, he pointed out Rice is not known for her credibility after the statements she made about the Benghazi attacks and "by saying [Sgt. Bowe] Bergdahl had an "outstanding record in the military."
Rice told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday she was simply doing her job by asking for the names of American citizens to be unmasked for intelligence gathering purposes last year, and she said she did not leak anything to the media, or to "nobody."
"Obviously, she knew an awful lot and put an explanation of her own spin and mischaracterizing what Devin Nunes said," King said. "It was either illegal or contrary to all policy. Any investigation picked up on an American coming from a warrant like that, that name has to be blacked out, masked.
"Susan Rice was unmasking then and having it distributed. This raises so many serious questions. There isn't trivial, petty, this goes to the heart of the right of the Americans' privacy."
King said he does strongly support the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows for the collection of intelligence, as it has saved the United States from terrorism attacks.
He believes Rice will be invited to testify before the House and Senate committees, and if she refuses, "she could be subpoenaed." But if Rice chooses to exercise her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, "that raises the level."
King, though, said he will not prejudge Rice, or for that matter, accusations against Trump that his campaign was involved with Russia, as he could see "no evidence of that at all."
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