Susan Rice, the national security adviser under President Obama, explained during an interview with the House Intelligence Committee last week why she unmasked members of the Donald Trump transition team.
CNN reports that Rice told the committee in a closed-door interview that she sought the names of senior Trump officials in order to find out why Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, decided to visit New York late last year.
Zayed met with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon on Dec. 15, sources told CNN.
Rice at one point earlier this year was at the center of allegations that she improperly unmasked Trump transition officials who were identified in reports compiled by the intelligence community.
But in an interview last Friday, South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy hinted in an interview with The Daily Caller that Rice did not improperly unmask anyone on the Trump team. Nor did she leak classified information to the media, as some Republicans have suggested. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Trey Gowdy Discusses Susan Rice’s Unmasking Controversy)
Florida Rep. Tom Rooney, a Republican member of the House panel, told CNN that he did not hear any indication of illegal activity on Rice’s part during last week’s meeting.
“I didn’t hear anything to believe that she did anything illegal,” Rooney said.