Former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice met Friday with investigators from the Senate intelligence committee regarding Russia’s attempts to influence the election.
Rice is one of three former Obama officials who met with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, according to an official who spoke with CNN, but part of the reason why this meeting is particularly hot is due to several Republicans thinking Rice revealed the identities of Trump associates collected by the intelligence community.
“Ambassador Rice met voluntarily with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence today as part of the committee’s bipartisan investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election,” Erin Pelton, Rice’s spokesperson, told CNN. “Ambassador Rice appreciates the Committee’s efforts to examine Russia’s efforts to interfere, which violated one of the core foundations of American democracy.”
Former Obama Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also met with the committee.
Regarding the allegations that Rice unmasked Trump associates, chairman of the committee GOP Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina said they traced back to House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes.
While Burr admitted individuals were, in fact, unmasked, he said that a full evaluation would be necessary before coming to any conclusions about improper activities.
“The unmasking thing was all created by Devin Nunes, and I’ll wait to go through our full evaluation to see if there was anything improper that happened,” Burr said. “But clearly there were individuals unmasked. Some of that became public which it’s not supposed to, and our business is to understand that, and explain it.”
For her part, Rice has strenuously denied any wrongdoing.
“The allegation is somehow Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes, that’s absolutely false,” Rice said to MSNBC on April 4.
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