Burr: Nunes ‘created’ unmasking allegations against Rice
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) pointed to his House counterpart Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) for the narrative that former national security adviser Susan Rice improperly “unmasked” or revealed the identities of Americans swept up in intelligence reports.
“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 told CNN in comments reported after his committee interviewed Rice in a closed session on Friday.
“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.”
Nunes raised the notion earlier this year that Rice improperly requested the identities of Americans incidentally surveilled, claiming he viewed intelligence reports that showed President Trump and his associates were among those caught up in surveillance of foreign targets.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers who viewed the intelligence reports in question after Nunes, however, have said they show no evidence that Rice or any other member of the Obama administration did anything unusual or illegal.
Rice has denied that she improperly asked for the identities to be unmasked.
It was later revealed that two White House officials helped provide Nunes with the intelligence reports, which he viewed on White House property.
Nunes recused himself in April from his committee’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.