MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough has accused the New York Times of downplaying the story of former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice allegedly ‘unmasking’ names of Trump officials.
“Why isn’t it in the newspaper of record here?” Scarborough asked on Tuesday’s show. “We’ve got Bill O’Reilly on the front page but we don’t have NSC, and Susan Rice?”
“That’s a big story,” Brzezinski countered referring to the Fox News host landing on Sunday’s front page with details of alleged sexual harassment.
“I’m not saying it’s not a big story,” Scarborough said. “I would say that a lot of people would think that this, too, is a big story, not on the front page of the New York Times.”
White House lawyers learned last month that Rice requested intelligence reports on people connected Donald Trump transition and campaign teams, according to Bloomberg.
A National Security Council review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” revealed Rice’s requests, Bloomberg reported. If accurate, Rice’s conduct could help explain why Trump accused Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower but it does not “vindicate” the president, according to Bloomberg.
“Unmasking” is the term used about decisions to uncover people who were incidentally caught up in routine surveillance of foreign officials. These people are supposed to remain anonymous — when their identity is revealed, they are “unmasked.” U.S. intelligence agencies routinely do legal surveillance of foreign nationals thanks to a section of law in the “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” generally referred to as FISA.
There remains no evidence to support Trump’s early March tweets that Obama illegally wiretapped Trump Tower.
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