US spy agencies routinely unmask lawmakers: report

US spy agencies routinely unmask lawmakers: report
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The U.S. government’s foreign surveillance incidentally collects information on lawmakers and their staffs as often as once a month, according to a new report.

Congress frequently receives alerts that its members and their aides have been unmasked and their identities shared with intelligence and law enforcement forces, Circa said Thursday.

Circa said such alerts, named “The Gates Notification” after former CIA Director Robert Gates, go to the Gang of Eight leadership team in Congress. The Gang of Eight includes the Speaker and House minority leader, the Senate Democratic and Republican leaders, and the bipartisan heads of both chambers’ intelligence committees.

Circa added the lawmakers often don't learn about such unmasking unless it involves a hacking or security threat.

Intelligence community sources speaking on the condition of anonymity confirmed to Circa that lawmakers' names may appear in executive branch intelligence reports.

Reports emerged Monday that former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. citizens in raw intelligence reports connected to President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE’s transition team.

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

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

Trump on Wednesday claimed — without presenting evidence — that Rice may have committed a crime by requesting the identities of his associates.

“I think it’s going to be the biggest story," he told The New York Times.