Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) appeared on Fox News’ Wednesday to discuss revelations about former national security adviser Susan Rice and her unmasking of private citizens mentioned in intelligence reports.
Speaking to Brian Kilmeade, he stated, “I don’t think she answered the question, ‘did she unmask people in the Trump administration?’” He then added, “She said, ‘maybe I did, but I didn’t do it for political reasons.’”
“If someone were investigating the Trump administration, it ought to be the F.B.I. not someone in the White house,” he continued. “She’s a political appointee that reports directly to the president.”
“The real question we need to ask is did the president eavesdrop and sift through all of the mountains of intelligence we have?”
“Did you know that over a million Americans’ phone calls are listened to without a warrant?” he asked Kilmeade. “We need to protect American privacy.”
“We can’t allow intelligence to be used for political purposes.”
“We can’t let political partisans like Susan Rice search through databases, unmask people, and she may not have leaked it. But what if one of her staff leaked it?”
According to the Daily Mail, records indicate that someone other than Rice unmasked Michael Flynn, President Trump’s ousted national security adviser. Another individual in Trump’s transition team was also unmasked, although the identity of that person is yet unknown.
Flynn was forced out of his job after a transcript of an intercepted phone call was leaked to The Washington Post, detailing a conversation he had last year with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. – a discussion that reportedly included mention of rolling back U.S. sanctions on Moscow.
It’s not known who the second Trump transition official is, but The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday night that there were two – based on information from a Republican linked to the House Intelligence Committee.
“The official said Ms. Rice had requested the unmasking of at least one transition official—not Mr. Flynn—who was part of multiple foreign conversations that weren’t related to Russia,” the Journal reported.
And “Rice wasn’t the administration official who instigated Mr. Flynn’s unmasking.” That puts at least one other Obama White House official in the picture.
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