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Speaking to House investigators during a closed-door meeting, former national security adviser Susan Rice reportedly admitted that she unmasked senior Trump officials.
Rice claimed she unmasked the Trump officials to “understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year,” CNN reported.
CNN has more details in its exclusive report:
The New York meeting preceded a separate effort by the UAE to facilitate a back-channel communication between Russia and the incoming Trump White House.
The crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, arrived in New York last December in the transition period before Trump was sworn into office for a meeting with several top Trump officials, including Michael Flynn, the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his top strategist Steve Bannon, sources said.
The Obama administration felt misled by the United Arab Emirates, which had failed to mention that Zayed was coming to the United States even though it's customary for foreign dignitaries to notify the US government about their travels, according to several sources familiar with the matter. Rice, who served as then-President Obama's national security adviser in his second term, told the House Intelligence Committee last week that she requested the names of the Americans mentioned in the classified report be revealed internally, a practice officials in both parties say is common.
While Rice never denied charges that she made requests to unmask American citizens, she adamantly denied allegations that the Obama administration used “intelligence for political purposes.”
“That's absolutely false,” she said last year, The Hill reported.
While the topic remains controversial, Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) told CNN he “didn't hear anything” in Rice's testimony that led him to “believe that she did anything illegal.”