Former Obama White House National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes is now an emerging as a person of interest in the House Intelligence Committee’s unmasking investigation, according to a letter sent Tuesday by the committee to the National Security Agency (NSA). This adds Rhodes to the growing list of top Obama government officials who may have improperly unmasked Americans in communications intercepted overseas by the NSA, Circa has confirmed.
The House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-CA, sent the letter to the National Security Agency requesting the number of unmaskings made by Rhodes from Jan. 1, 2016 to Jan. 20, 2017, according to congressional sources who spoke with Circa. Rhodes, who worked closely with former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and was a former deputy national security adviser for strategic communications for President Obama, became a focus of the committee during its review of classified information to assess whether laws were broken regarding NSA intercepted communications of President Trump, members of his administration and other Americans before and after the election, according to congressional officials. The committee is requesting that the NSA deliver the information on Rhodes by August, 21.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Rice and former CIA Director John Brennan have all been named in the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the unmasking of Americans. A letter sent last week from Nunes to Dan Coats, the director of National Intelligence, suggested that top Obama aides made hundreds of unmasking requests during the 2016 presidential elections. The story, which was first reported by The Hill last week, stated that the requests were made without specific justifications as to why the unmasking was necessary. Rice and Brennan have confirmed they sought the unredacted names of Americans in NSA-sourced intelligence reports but insisted their requests were routine parts of their work and had no nefarious intentions. Power also has legal authority to unmask officials, though the practice has not reportedly been common for someone in her position. Rhodes also had legal authority to unmask Americans in NSA-source intelligence reports. But intelligence and congressional sources question the extent of the unmasking.
As previously reported by The Gateway Pundit, The House Intelligence Committee met with former Obama Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes last Tuesday according to a report.
The House Intelligence Committee met with former Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, according to a report Tuesday.
It was already known that Jared Kushner, top adviser and son-in-law to President Trump, on Tuesday spoke with members of the panel, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties to the Trump campaign. CNN’s Manu Raju tweeted Tuesday evening that the network’s chief political analyst Gloria Borger had learned that Rhodes also spoke to the committee.
TGP previously reported, Rep. Ron DeSantis, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, called on the DoJ to “launch a formal investigation” into former FBI Direct Comey’s leaks, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
DeSantis named Ben Rhodes—the former National Security Council official responsible for creating an in-house “echo chamber” meant to mislead reporters and the public about the landmark nuclear deal with Iran—as a primary source of these leaks and urged the House Intelligence Committee to call Rhodes and other former Obama officials to testify publicly about any role they may be playing in spreading classified information to reporters.
DeSantis named former National Security Council official Ben Rhodes as being responsible for “creating an in-house ‘echo-chamber’ meant to mislead reporters and the public”.
“Any Obama holdover at any of these agencies, you’ve got to get them out of there because clearly they’re not on the same team and particularly on the [White House] National Security Council”.
DeSantis goes on to say:
“I think Congress and some members of the Intelligence Committee can call Ben Rhodes to testify . . . He may be able to invoke executive privilege from when Obama was president but he definitely can’t do that in any interactions he’s had since then.”