House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said Tuesday that President Obama's former United Nations ambassador has testified that not all of the "unmasking" requests made in her name were directed by her.
Samantha Power testified in Gowdy's committee last week, and Fox News reported weeks before her appearance that she was thought to have made as many as 260 requests to "unmask" Americans caught up in the surveillance of non-U.S. citizens.
But Tuesday evening, Gowdy told Fox News that Power told his committee that she was not the official requesting that unmasking in every case.
"I think if she were on your show, she would say those requests to unmask may have been attributed to her, but they greatly exceed by an exponential factor the requests she actually made," Gowdy said.
"So, that's her testimony, and she was pretty emphatic in it," he added. "The intelligence community has assigned this number of requests to her. Her perspective, her testimony is, they may be under my name, but I did not make those requests."
"So, we've got to get tot he bottom of that," Gowdy said. "If there is someone else making requests on behalf of a principal in the intelligence community, we need to know that because we're getting ready to reauthorize a program that's really important to the country, but also has a masking component to it."
Gowdy was referring to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Pressure is building on Congress to reauthorize that language, but Republicans are wary of doing so, in part because of the suspicion that the Obama administration unfairly unmasked people, including those on President Trump's transition team.