Full context: Susan Rice answers questions about Trump transition spying allegations

On Monday, two reports claimed that Rice, who was Obama's top national security aide, had helped reveal the identities of Trump officials whose communications were swept up in regular United States spying on foreign targets. The New York Times reports Rice said that she sometimes asked for the names of Americans whose identities were redacted in intelligence reports given to her in order to understand the context of what was going on.

"I think it's going to be the biggest story", said Trump, who previously compared the situation to Watergate. "It is one of the big stories of our time", Trump added.

Mr. Spicer pointed to an appearance Ms. Rice had made on PBS "Newshour" last month, during which she fielded questions about House Intelligence Committee Republican chairman Rep. Devin Nunes' revelation that Trump associates had been incidentally swept up in US surveillance of foreign targets and unmasked.

The Susan Rice scandal also comes in the wake of Evelyn Farkas' television interview last month in which the former Obama deputy secretary of defense said in part: "I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill ... get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration". To Trump backers, the revelations are evidence that the Obama administration was surveilling the incoming administration for political purposes.

Nunes also said he confirmed that "additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked".

Susan Rice, national security adviser to President Barack Obama, likely will figure in congressional investigations of Russia's interference in the presidential election.

Rice is not, not yet, speaking under oath, so perhaps it doesn't really matter what she says.

Last month, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., made waves when he announced that the communications of Trump transition team members were "incidentally" swept up by USA intelligence agencies while they were conducting legal foreign surveillance.

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On Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said the House intelligence committee investigation - one of three looking into Russia's role in the 2016 election- was back on track, and Republicans and Democrats have agreed on the witnesses to be called.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters late Tuesday morning that it was suspicious to see news reports denying Rice's involvement by citing anonymous sources.

"The allegation is that somehow the Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes", Rice told Mitchell. The Times said Trump declined "repeated requests for evidence of his allegations or the names of other Obama administration officials". Further, she couldn't have names unmasked without permission from the intelligence agency that briefed her - a system in place to prevent political abuses.

It's worth noting that we don't know-or at least no news story about the incident has reported-whether the NSA granted Rice's request and gave her the unmasked names.

It's fair to say they are more enthusiastic about that story.

Rice denies leaking information about Trump associates.

"There is an established process to ask for senior national security officials to ask for the identity of US persons in these reports". A request by the president's national security adviser would typically be approved.

En fin, the crucial unmasking - Who is that masked man in the White House? - is yet to come.

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