- REUTERS/Gary Cameron
A Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee told Fox News that the intelligence reports in which some of President Donald Trump’s associates were “unmasked” contained detailed information about the associates’ everyday lives.
These intelligence reports became the subject of controversy after reports surfaced that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice “unmasked” US citizens who were swept up in the incidental surveillance.
Rice reportedly tried to learn the identities of officials on Trump’s transition team whose conversations with foreign officials may have been incidentally collected during routine intelligence-gathering operations. Typically, when Americans are swept up in foreign surveillance, they are referred to as something like “Person One,” hiding their names. Revealing their identities is called “unmasking.”
Rep. Peter King, a Republican who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox that the intelligence reports Americans got swept up in are more detailed than previously thought.
“This is information about their everyday lives,” King said. “Sort of like in a divorce case where lawyers are hired, investigators are hired just to find out what the other person is doing from morning until night and then you try to piece it together later on.”
Fox reported that King is familiar with the documents, but the news outlet also reported that only House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and ranking Democrat Adam Schiff have personally seen the intelligence documents, while other members have been given broad summaries.
Schiff has declined to comment on the contents of the documents, while Nunes has said they caused him concern.
National-security experts have said that Rice’s reported requests to identify who was speaking with the foreign officials before Trump was inaugurated were neither unusual nor against the law. Eli Lake of Bloomberg reported the foreign officials being monitored were discussing “valuable political information” that required the identity of the people they were speaking to, or about, to be uncovered.