Susan Rice, former President Obama’s national security adviser — who is infamously known for her role in misleading the American people about the nature of the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya — is in the middle of another national controversy.
Rice is responsible for unmasking the identities of multiple Trump presidential campaign and transition team officials caught up in intelligence data gathered by U.S. agencies, according to Eli Lake of Bloomberg, citing unnamed U.S. officials.
When foreign surveillance data is collected through intelligence operations, the names of Americans involved in the reports are supposed to be redacted. Whether or not Rice conducted the requests within the confines of federal law remains unclear.
Her efforts may draw parallels to former President Nixon’s efforts to spy on his political opponents. Following Nixon’s resignation, the intelligence community was reformed via the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, with the hopes of imposing accountability measures for federal officials that spy on political opponents.
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.
The National Security Council (NSC) has reportedly been tasked with looking into the matter. Ezra Cohen-Watnick, an NSC’s senior director, is the individual who discovered that Rice made the dozens of inquiries, Lake’s report states.
In late March, Rice said publicly that she knew “nothing” of President Trump’s claims that he was wiretapped. “Nothing of the sort occurred,” Rice said on PBS “NewsHour” in her first interview since leaving her White House job.
Susan Rice continually misled Americans about the 2012 Benghazi attacks that resulted in the deaths of four Americans. Appearing on national television several times, Rice said the attack began “spontaneously” as a response to a YouTube video.
Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for CR. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel