On Thursday, President Donald J. Trump responded to the revelations that former national security adviser Susan Rice admitted she internally unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials. As DML News reported Wednesday, Rice, who served under the Obama administration, told House investigators that she had, in fact, unmasked Trump associates.
According to reports, Rice requested the unmasking in order to understand why Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, of the United Arab Emirates, was in New York in December of last year.
The crown prince met with three Trump transition team members at Trump Tower: General Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, and Steve Bannon, reportedly.
While traveling between D.C. and Florida, where he was assessing the damage done by Hurricane Irma, President Trump slammed Rice while talking to reporters on board Air Force One.
“She’s not supposed to be doing that, and what she did was wrong,” Trump reportedly said. “We’ve been saying that. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. She wasn’t supposed to be doing that — the unmasking and the surveillance. I heard she admitted that yesterday.”
Rice reportedly said that Crown Prince Nahyan had not informed the Obama administration that he was traveling to New York City. Although he was not required to do so, Rice said it was standard diplomatic procedure at the time. Rice explained that the unmasking was incidental to finding out why Nahyan had come to the U.S.
In previous public interviews, Rice had a different story to tell. In an April interview with NPR, Rice said allegations that she had been involved in the surveillance of foreign officials, which came from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), were false.
“I know nothing about this,” Rice said at the time. “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today.”
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