GOP rep: Investigate Rice unmasking requests

Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisThe Hill's Morning Report — Arrest of Giuliani associates triggers many questions McCarthy will return money donated by indicted associates of Giuliani Florida law allowing some school teachers to carry guns on campus goes into effect MORE (R-Fla.) on Tuesday demanded an investigation into why former national security adviser Susan Rice sought the unmasking of U.S citizens’ identities in raw intelligence reports.

“So the fact that somebody like Susan Rice, who’s really tied at the hip with President Obama, was the one doing it, to me that is very suspicious,” he said on Fox Business Network. "And I think we have to have this fully vetted.”

“If there’s a connection between the leaking and the unmasking, I think you have a major, major abuse of power on your hands,” the House Freedom Caucus member added.

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DeSantis additionally wondered whether a link exists between Rice’s reported unmasking of members of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani says he is unaware of reported federal investigation Louisiana's Democratic governor forced into runoff Lawmakers focus their ire on NBA, not China MORE’s transition team and leaks to the media.

“So the question is, where did that information emanate from, and was the information that was unmasked by Susan Rice the same information that was put out to The New York Times, The Washington Post to try to kneecap politically the Trump transition and then the Trump administration?” he asked. "But I think people need to ask themselves, why would the national security adviser need to unmask information of this nature?"

“They’re not conducting the investigation, whatever investigation, out of the White House. That’s the purview of the FBI. You have other agencies who deal with this — NSA, CIA.”

Reports emerged Monday that Rice requested to see the identities of U.S. citizens in raw intelligence reports connected to Trump’s transition team. Such surveillance targets foreign nationals and typically obscures any names of any U.S. citizens involved in the communications.

U.S. officials purportedly discovered Rice’s requests last month during a National Security Council review of how the government handles the unmasking of citizens swept up in the usual course of surveillance.

Rice earlier Tuesday categorically denied that the Obama administration inappropriately spied on Trump or members of his transition team.

“The allegation is that somehow, Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes,” she said on MSNBC. "That’s absolutely false."