WH: Certain Obama Political Appointees Had Access to the Names of ‘Unmasked US Citizens’

By Melanie Arter | March 20, 2017 | 9:34 PM EDT

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee’s hearing has confirmed that there’s no evidence of collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia and that “certain political appointees in the Obama administration had access to the names of unmasked U.S. citizens.”

“Following this testimony, it’s clear that nothing has changed. Senior Obama intelligence officials have gone on record to confirm that there is no evidence of a Trump-Russia collusion. The Obama CIA director said so, Obama’s director of national intelligence said so, and we take them at their word,” Spicer said.


“However, there was some new information that came from the hearing that we believe is newsworthy about the intelligence-gathering process and the unmasking of Americans identified in intelligence reports, and the illegal leak of such unmasked individuals, which is a federal crime,” he said.

Spicer noted that Comey told the committee “that certain political appointees in the Obama administration had access to the names of unmasked U.S. citizens, such as senior White House officials, senior Department of Justice officials, and senior intelligence officials.”  

“Before President Obama left office, [former Trump National Security Adviser] Michael Flynn was unmasked and then illegally his identity was leaked out to media outlets, despite the fact that, as NSA Director [Mike] Rogers said, that unmasking and revealing individuals endangers ‘national security,” the press secretary said.

“Not only was General Flynn’s identity made available, Director Comey refused to answer the question of whether or not he’d actually briefed President Obama on his phone calls and activities. Director Comey called these types of disclosures of classified information a threat to national security and said he will investigate and pursue these matters to the full extent of law,” Spicer said.

“He also said that the leaking of classified information had become ‘unusually active’ in the timeframe in question. It’s also important to note that both Directors Comey and Rogers told the committee that they have no evidence that votes were changed in the swing states the president had won,” he added.