Seeing former national security adviser Susan Rice's name in headlines is nothing new, said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who dubbed her "the Typhoid Mary of the Obama administration foreign policy," for her central role in several scandals.
"Every time something went wrong, she seemed to turn up in the middle of it, whether it was these allegations of improper unmasking and potential improper surveillance, whether it was Benghazi, or many of the other fiascos over the eight years of the Obama administration," Cotton said on Hugh Hewitt's radio show Tuesday.
Cotton, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, added that he's "never asked for an unmasked name."
He added, "frankly, it's hard to imagine the circumstances you would in ordinary course of business outside of an exceptional review like we're conducting now. Unmasking normally occurs by law enforcement or intelligence analysts who need it to conduct an investigation or to understand the raw intelligence.
"I've never had the occasion or need to request an unmasking of that, and it would be a pretty momentous action, because those minimization procedures are in place specifically to protect the privacy and the civil liberties of American citizens," he added.
Hewitt asked Cotton about a recent editorial from The Wall Street Journal which questioned why Rice requested the unmaskings, and claimed an anonymous source revealed that "Ms. Rice also examined dozens of other intelligence summaries that technically masked Trump official identities but were written in such a way as to make obvious who those officials were. This means that the masking was essentially meaningless. All this is highly unusual — and troubling."
When asked about this, Cotton said, "All serious questions in that editorial along with Eli Lake's reporting. And some of the claims that chairman Nunes has raised, I think, are serious questions. I don't know the factual basis behind them, yet, but that's why the Intelligence Committee ought to review them, and will review them."
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