Pence on Rice's 'unmasking' requests: Americans 'have a right to know'

Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceWhere 2020 Democrats stand in betting markets ahead of first debate President Trump fighting to fix a broken trade system at the G-20 Trump rules out Haley joining 2020 ticket MORE said Wednesday that Americans “have a right to know” details about allegations that President Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice asked for the identity of Trump transition team members to be unmasked in intelligence reports.

“Well I think the American people have a right to know what was going on. And we have every confidence that intelligence committees in the House and the Senate will get to the bottom of all of these allegations,” Pence told Fox News.

Rice became the subject of ire from Trump allies earlier this week after media reports said the former Obama official requested the identities of transition team members be unmasked in reports about surveillance of foreign targets. Rice on Tuesday did not deny that she requested the unmasking of identities, but said she would not have done so for political reasons.

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Pence, when asked if Rice should testify in front of Congress, said such a decision is up to lawmakers.

“But I would say the American people have a right to know if there was surveillance of any private citizen in this country,” he added in the Fox News interview.

“And the identity of those citizens was revealed, people ought to have the right to know why. And the fact that it involved out campaign and our transition should be deeply troubling to anyone cherishes civil liberties in this country.”

But President Trump in an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday said he thinks Rice committed a crime. 

“Do I think? Yes, I think.” Trump told the newspaper when asked.