May 09 2017

Graham Questions NSA Director On Russia, Unmasking

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today questioned Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) Admiral Michael Rogers on Russia’s interference in American politics and the practice of unmasking the identities of American citizens mentioned in intelligence reports.  

GRAHAM: “Do you agree that it was Democrats in 2016, it could be Republicans in the next election?
ROGERS: “Yes, I would argue this is not about politics. This is not about party. This is about an effort against the strategic interests of every citizen of this nation.”
GRAHAM: “I agree with you one thousand percent.”
GRAHAM: “How many people can request the unmasking of American citizens?”
ROGERS: “If you’re an authorized recipient of the intelligence – we use two criteria. Number one, the requester must be asking this in the execution of their official duties. It can’t be something that would be neat to know… Number two, the revealing of the U.S. person has to provide context and greater value for the intelligence. Again, it just can’t be, ‘I’m just curious.’”
GRAHAM: “So there’s a record of who made the request to unmask the conversation involving the American citizen?”
ROGERS: “Yes sir.”
GRAHAM: “There’s a record of whether or not you granted it.”
ROGERS: “Yes sir.”
GRAHAM: “Is there a record of what the person did with the information once they got it?”
ROGERS: “No. There is also a record of the basis of, ‘so why did we say yes?’”