Trump suggests Susan Rice might have committed crime

Unravelling the Team Obama anti Trump leak machineMore

Unmasking is the word of the week in Washington, D.C.

Former President Barack Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice might have committed a crime by requesting the identities of his associates mentioned in communications intercepted by security agencies, President Donald Trump told The New York Times on Wednesday.

MITCHELL: It's the latest in a series of charges by the Trump Administration that critics say are created to distract from the Russian Federation investigation, and justify the president's explosive tweet a month ago: "Just found out that Obama had my wires tapped in Trump tower", shot down immediately by top Republicans and FBI Director James Comey.

"I think the committee process can flesh that out and working with the Justice Department, we'll see what actually happens", Collins said in an interview with The Hill.

"It's such an important story for our country and the world", Trump added. "It's one of the big stories of our time".

But Rice staunchly denies any allegations of wrongdoing. In an interview on Tuesday with MSNBC, she said: "The allegation is that somehow the Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes".

I'll take her word for it, though if it had been so pristine, it's unclear why Rice had previously lied and claimed no knowledge of any of it.

In response, Erin Pelton, a spokesperson for Rice, told CNN: "I'm not going to dignify the President's ludicrous charge with a comment".

Rice reportedly asked to unmask the identities of people affiliated with the Trump campaign and transition "on dozens of occasions", according to the Bloomberg report. He called Bannon "the leading anti-China voice in the White House" and said he believes that made the Chinese "uneasy".

When Rice was asked if she was the one who leaked former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn's name, she responded, "I leaked nothing to nobody, and never have and never would". Some Trump allies have accused Rice of unmasking officials for political reasons. So, just as clearly, Rice is hiding something.

However, the probe into Russia's interference in the election is ongoing and the subject of two congressional investigations. What we're seeing here is USA officials doing jobs to respond to what had markers of a counterintelligence threat: "the Trump campaign".

After playing the clip of Rice denying she ever leaked intelligence, Mitchell brought the blame game back to Trump.

The press conference came after Nunes reviewed classified documents that he says he got from a secret source.

"The charges [against Nunes] are entirely false and politically motivated, and are being leveled just as the American people are beginning to learn the truth about the improper unmasking of the identities of USA citizens and other abuses of power", he said. The counsel's office ordered him to stand down because the lawyers did not want the White House to be running an independent investigation into the prior administration.

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