01:24 GMT06 March 2021
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    On Sunday evening, author and journalist Mike Cernovich revealed that Susan Rice, who served as the National Security Adviser under President Obama, was behind the unmasking of people on President Donald Trump's transition team.

    The scoop was corroborated on Monday by Bloomberg News.

    Cernovich also alleged that Maggie Haberman of the New York Times had the Susan Rice scoop for at least 48 hours, but chose not to report it “in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.”

    Normally, the identities of US citizens who are not the targets, but sometimes get caught in the government spying, are redacted to protect their privacy. The process of “unmasking” the identities can only be requested by a select few within the intelligence community.

    “Some of the conversations monitored included information related to whom the Trump team met with, the foreign policy views of some Trump associates and plans for the new administration,” the Hill reported.

    Last month, White House lawyers learned that Rice was the one behind unmasking the names, such as Mike Flynn, whose conversation with a Russian ambassador was later leaked to the media.

    Appearing on "PBS NewsHour" in March, Rice was asked about Trump and his team being caught up in incidental intelligence collection, and she denied having any knowledge of it happening.

    "I know nothing about this," Rice said. "I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today."

    Rice has not yet commented on the revelations that she herself was behind the unmasking.


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