London [U.K.], April 6 (ANI): David Axelrod, senior advisor to former president Barack Obama, strongly criticised President Donald Trump for suggesting without evidence that former national security advisor Susan Rice may have committed a crime by trying to unmask the names of Trump's associates who were mentioned in intercepted communications during the Obama administration.
He told the New York Times that it was "going to be the biggest story" and said he would explain further "at the right time". While Rice would not deny that she asked that names of Trump officials be demasked, she insisted the Obama administration did not spy on Mr. Trump or his staff for political purposes.
President Donald Trump pushed a claim hyped by right-wing media that former President Barack Obama's national security adviser Susan Rice may have committed a crime and could face legal jeopardy for "unmasking" Trump associates caught in surveillance.
"Americans deserve to know if Pres Obamas National Security Adviser was involved in unmasking Trump transition figures for political purposes", tweeted South Carolina Sen.
She said that information is classified.
Instead, Obama made Rice national security adviser, a job within the executive office of the president and so without need for Senate confirmation.
Trump has also claimed, without evidence, that Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower during the election.
So, it might not have been Putin who was meddling in our presidential election.
The names of USA citizens "incidentally" mentioned in NSA reports are masked to preserve their identities because America's intelligence agencies are barred from spying on American citizens except in extraordinary circumstances with court approval.
"I leaked nothing to nobody and never have and never would", she said on MSNBC.
"Do I think [Rice committed a crime]?"
President Trump addresses a joint news conference with Jordan's King Abdullah II in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 5. Identities of Americans in such reports are normally "masked" by calling them "U.S. Person 1" and "U.S. person 2", for example.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer cast Rice's handling of intelligence in the waning days of Obama's term as suspicious, although he did not detail what he found to be inappropriate.
It was Nunes who first raised the unmasking allegations, saying that some names were unmasked in the documents he reviewed. The president repeatedly refused attempts of the two reporters of New York Times who wished to know what led him to this conclusion, though the President said he would talk more "at the right time".
Graham is the chairman of a Senate subcommittee that oversees the counterintelligence division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the potential ties between Trump's camp and Russian Federation. Nunes has since said he was unsure whether associates of Trump participated in the intercepted communications or whether those persons were simply mentioned or referred to by others.