In a blow to GOP efforts to create a cloud of scandal around so-called unmasking, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News that Michael Flynn's name was never redacted from an Federal Bureau of Investigation intelligence report about his phone conversation with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Flynn's defenders believe it will exonerate the former National Security Advisor.
White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice, listens to incoming White House National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn, speak at the 2017 Passing The Baton conference at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington on January 10, 2017.
Trump's acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell, and Attorney General William Barr * a href="https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2020-05-13*20ODNI*20to*20CEG*20RHJ*20 (Unmasking).pdf__;JSUlJSU!PIZeeW5wscynRQ!6xRnCM2wR30EAP4RrvF3GvVboCkjOPS-hhlGOqLv-0_KaVNHg-d8Q76LOuPpXpte6B1UtLy2L2p5daWs_eXB99tKpv86_2uE8Sxi3pkGgcJMuQEhe4-2j0wIzlwMdmbpcdA$" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:declassified a list" class="link rapid-noclick-resp" *declassified a list of Obama administration officials who unmasked the names of Americans speaking to foreigners in NSA-generated reports as part of their review of information on Russian election interference.
The FBI, not the National Security Agency which has its own network of high-tech eavesdropping techniques, that scooped up Flynn, former officials told the paper. Unmasking involves looking to see who's actually having those conversations and according to Rick, it appears that Vice President Joe Biden unmasked General Flynn in some conversations Flynn had been involved in.
The US intelligence community surveils hundreds of thousands of foreign targets per year, and "unmasking" is a routine and legal tool officials use to make more sense of the communications they're monitoring.
Schiff is also requesting that the underlying intelligence reports referenced in Grenell's "unmasking list" (which apparently did not include the Kislyak commnications, because in that summary Flynn's name was never concealed) be turned over to his committee and publicly released with the appropriate redactions.
The Obamagate theory also accuses Obama and Biden of having advance knowledge of the FBI's plans to interview Flynn about his communications with Kislyak during the 2017 presidential transition period.
But the email, which was declassified in full this week (though much of it had already been declassified), appears to indicate otherwise.
"The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective".
"You can not have a law enforcement agency have people within it that break the law".
The FBI director admits he "has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak", and no real basis for his insistence that the probe must go on.
A declassified email from Susan Rice shows James Comey suggested any "sensitive" information on Russian Federation should not be shared with Michael Flynn; Gillian Turner has the latest. President Obama asked if Comey was saying that the [National Security Council] should not pass sensitive information related to Russian Federation to Flynn. "He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book".
A spokesperson for Susan Rice suggested that the declassified email "makes clear that the Obama administration did not change the way it briefed Michael Flynn", adding that "no discussion of law enforcement matters or investigations took place, despite accusations to the contrary".
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