Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who had already labeled former Obama official Susan Rice a “dissembler,” said on Wednesday that she committed a “big crime” when she unmasked members of President Trump’s transition team and then allegedly lied about it on television. Paul excoriated the former national security advisor in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News .
Rice said that she had not asked for the names merely “for political purposes.”.
Rand said on Fox News, “The question I would ask Susan Rice if she came before Congress – ‘did you discuss with the president that you were unmasking Trump transition officials – in what world would it ever have been appropriate for White House staff, political staff, to be unmasking conversations – highly classified and private conversations with Trump, General Flynn and others?'”
Paul went on to say, “She needs to be made to answer for this, this is not a benign thing.” The Kentucky senator said that private conversation that were picked up by intelligence intercepts directed at foreign nationals were then leaked to the media. He said, “This is a big crime and we need to get to the bottom of it.”
When Hannity theorized that the “real intelligence gathering” was about “spying on Trump,”Paul said it is not “Susan Rice’s job” to handle intelligence information. That would fall, Paul said, to  the FBI, the NSA or the CIA. He also slammed the idea that the government should be able to surveil conversations “because they disagree with us politically,” and also expressed concern over eavesdropping by the executive branch on the legislative branch.


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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.