"The allegation is that somehow Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes".
"I leaked nothing to nobody and never have and never would", Ms Rice replied.
"Over eight years, for me and others who served, it was not uncommon, in fact it was necessary at times to make those requests to find out the identity of US officials, on every topic under the sun when it seemed relevant", she said. Now the claim is that she did nothing improper.
The White House - which has access to the intelligence that allegedly shows Rice was behind the unmasking - was playing coy.
In fact, this review is pro forma. There were growing indications that the Russian government was attempting to influence the USA presidential election, and a national security adviser would be remiss not to closely inspect any information about possible American involvement.
The new news reports come barely two weeks after Rice denied knowing anything about the intelligence reports. To get that info, a high official must (but rarely does) push to "unmask' the Americans' names", the Post said, adding that reports April 3 revealed that "Rice started doing just that past year".
"There is a civil liberties component to this that should be very troubling in terms of the revelations that keep coming out", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday.
Bloomberg reporter Eli Lake confirmed this in a bombshell April 3 report in which he said the demasked reports "contained valuable political information on the Trump transition".
Rice has not confirmed or denied making the requests, but denies that any requests were politically motivated. "'Spied on before nomination.' The real story", the president wrote in a tweet Monday. "Whether or not she did it this time, I don't know, but it's something Congress should look into", he added.
"Within the context of the Trump campaign, the Trump transition, did you seek the names of people involved in - to unmask the names of people involved in the Trump transition, the Trump campaign, the people surrounding the president-elect in order to spy on them and expose them?" Americans who are caught up in incidental surveillance in foreign intelligence gatherings are not supposed to have their names revealed, unless this would be relevant to the actual foreign intelligence.
MITCHELL: Is there any truth to President Trump's claim on Twitter, exactly a month ago, early one Saturday morning on March 4th, that President Obama was eavesdropping on him at Trump Tower?
That comes back to me, not to anybody broadly in the national security world, and that is necessary for me to do my job.
Despite determined efforts by the mainstream media to stamp out this story, the smoke of this scandal continues to grow. The review was prompted by a belief that there were inefficiencies in the current procedures and concerns over a policy change made in the closing days of the Obama administration, according to the official, who insisted on anonymity in order to disclose the sensitive information. She did have the authority to do it.
Ms Rice also rejected claims that she leaked information to USA media. Fleitz specializes in the Iranian nuclear program, terrorism, and intelligence issues.
Schiff explained that when the USA is "doing lawful surveillance for the objective of gathering foreign intelligence" and a surveillance target mentions a United States citizen or business, that can constitute "incidental collection".