Susan Rice, former national security adviser under President Barack Obama, requested on numerous occasions the "unmasking" of the identities of Trump campaign officials listed in raw intelligence reports, according to a new report.
The report, published by Bloomberg, said: "The pattern of Rice's requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government's policy on 'unmasking' the identities of individuals in the U.S." who were not the original targets of the foreign surveillance.
The report also claims that a U.S. official with knowledge of the matter said that the conversations that were reviewed by Rice contained, "valuable political information on the Trump transition," such as transition plans and the foreign policy views of some members of the Trump team.
At least one source said that the review of "unmasking" was conducted by Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who brought the issue to the attention of the White House general counsel's office. Cohen-Watnick was identified by the New York Times as being one of the White House officials who helped connect House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes to the raw intelligence surveillance reports that Nunes later claimed showed members of the Trump team were caught up in "incidental" surveillance.
The report could be of interest to the ongoing, parallel investigations by the House and Senate intelligence committees, which have been investigating Russia's interference with the 2016 election. In one open hearing held by the House Intelligence Committee, several Republican members were eager to focus their lines of questioning on how an intercepted phone call of the Russian ambassador and Mike Flynn was ultimately leaked to the media.
While serving in the Obama administration, Susan Rice was also a lightning rod in the Benghazi investigation after she famously appeared on the Sunday morning shows and claimed the terrorist attack was in response to an Internet video.