- Daniel Caesar dons cape for whiteness—and gets canceled Wednesday 4:29 PM
- Triton is a new malware ‘deliberately’ designed to put lives at risk Wednesday 3:23 PM
- ‘Into the Dark: I’m Just F*cking with You’ is one of the series’ best Wednesday 1:54 PM
- Trump’s latest prop, a map of ISIS, gets memed Wednesday 12:54 PM
- HBO sends fans on a global scavenger hunt for 6 Iron Thrones Wednesday 11:51 AM
- The Awkward Family Photos game is Cards Against Humanity for meme lovers Wednesday 11:50 AM
- London firefighters’ organization accuses ‘Peppa Pig’ of sexism Wednesday 11:41 AM
- YouTuber accused of abusing her children to make kid-friendly content Wednesday 11:20 AM
- Ari Fleischer’s Iraq War tweet isn’t going over well Wednesday 10:54 AM
- Cop arrested for recording man’s genitals, forcing mentally ill man to twerk Wednesday 10:37 AM
- MoviePass rebrands its unlimited plan, again Wednesday 10:37 AM
- Former Alaska senator launches meme-filled 2020 primary campaign Wednesday 10:17 AM
- The Shane Dawson cat controversy has resulted in these sex memes Wednesday 10:06 AM
- Sarah Sanders mocks CNN reporter with ‘dear diary’ tweet Wednesday 9:03 AM
- Know what you’re signing up for thanks to these dating site reviews Wednesday 8:58 AM
Photo via Andrew Cline/Shutterstock (Licensed)
Without evidence or justification, President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused former National Security Adviser Susan Rice of breaking the law by requesting access to the censored names of his associates included in incidental surveillance of foreign targets.
Trump’s accusation, given during an interview with the New York Times, elevates a newly launched conspiracy theory that Rice was instrumental in an Obama administration effort to spy on the Trump campaign for political purposes.
Rice on Tuesday confirmed reports that she requested the “unmasking” of names of U.S. citizens that had been “minimized,” or censored, from intelligence reports regarding the surveillance of foreign targets. U.S. law allows intelligence agencies broad authority to surveil foreign targets, but the names of U.S. citizens must be masked to protect their constitutional rights. U.S. officials may request—but not order—Americans’ names unmasked for a few select reasons. If the National Security Agency deems those reasons vaild, it will unmask the names. Rice could not unilaterally unmask the names of Americans caught in an incidental collection.
“The allegation is that somehow the Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes,” Rice told MSNBC on Tuesday. “That’s absolutely false.”
Multiple reports from conservative news outlets have characterized Rice’s unmasking requests as suspicious, but no credible report has suggested she broke the law, as she held the authority to make such requests.
Speaking with the Times, Trump said Rice’s actions as national security adviser is “going to be the biggest story.” He added, “It’s such an important story for our country and the world. It is one of the big stories of our time.”
Asked whether he believed Rice broke the law, Trump said, “Do I think? Yes, I think.”
Trump previously accused former President Barack Obama of having his “wires tapped” at Trump Tower ahead of the election. Neither the accusations against Rice nor any other available evidence has supported this claim.
The FBI is currently investigating possible collusion between Trump associates and Russia, which U.S. intelligence agencies say tampered in the 2016 presidential election in ways that favored Trump’s victory.
Read the full story at the New York Times.
Andrew Couts is the former editor of Layer 8, a section dedicated to the intersection of the Internet and the state—and the gaps in between. Prior to the Daily Dot, Couts served as features editor and features writer for Digital Trends, associate editor of TheWeek.com, and associate editor at Maxim magazine. When he’s not working, Couts can be found hiking with his German shepherds or blasting around on motorcycles.