The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, was unmasking so many names in the final months of the Obama administration that she may have averaged more than one request for each working day in 2016.
Two different sources who do not have authority to speak on the record said that requests to unmask Americans whose names appeared in foreign intelligence reporting exceeded 260 last year.
These details came to light just before Samantha Power is scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill next month. She is one of several Obama administrators who is now facing scrutiny for seeking the identities of Trump associates in intelligence reports.
Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., sent a letter on July 27th to the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. He wrote, “that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration.” The “official” is widely reported to be Power.
During a public congressional hearing earlier this year, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina asked former CIA director John Brennan about unmasking, without mentioning Power by name.
Gowdy: Do you recall any U.S. ambassadors asking that names be unmasked?
Brennan: I don’t know. Maybe it’s ringing a vague bell, but I’m not — I could not answer with any confidence.
Gowdy: On either January 19 or up till noon on January 20, did you make any unmasking requests?
Brennan: I do not believe I did.
Gowdy: So you did not make any requests on the last day that you were employed?
Brennan: No, I was not in the agency on the last day I was employed.
Power is one of three top Obama administration officials that received subpoenas: Former national security adviser Susan Rice, Brennan and Power.
A spokesperson for Power, her lawyer David Pressman, emphasized that “While serving as our Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Power was also a member of the National Security Council responsible for advising the President on the full-range of threats confronting the United States. Any insinuation that Ambassador Power was involved in leaking classified information is absolutely false.”
What do you think about the massive number of unmasking requests credited to Samantha Power?
Credit: Fox News