National Security

Former Obama aide Ben Rhodes questioned by House intel leaders

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The House Intelligence Committee interviewed former White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes behind closed doors Wednesday morning, the latest in a string of interviews with former Obama administration officials. 

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who is leading the panel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, told reporters that Rhodes “answered my questions,” but the lawmaker provided no other details about the session.

He added that he did not anticipate calling Rhodes to reappear before the committee. 

“I’m not aware of any reason he would come back, that we would ask him back,” Conaway said.

As part of the broader Russia probe, the panel is investigating whether any Obama officials inappropriately requested that the identity of any Trump transition team members be revealed internally, or “unmasked,” in counterintelligence surveillance. 

Intelligence Comittee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in August requested that the National Security Agency reveal how many unmasking requests Rhodes made in the 13 months preceding President Trump’s inauguration. 

Nunes stepped back from leading the Russia probe this spring, but has continued to run a concurrent investigation into the practice of unmasking. 

Rhodes has previously testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, also behind closed doors, as part of that chamber’s probe into Russia’s election meddling. 

Tags Mike Conaway

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