Ex-Obama adviser Ben Rhodes speaks to House intel panel amid unmasking controversy

Former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes spoke behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, amid questions over his role in the Obama administration’s ‘unmasking’ of Trump associates during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition.

Rhodes is one of several Obama administration officials tied to the unmasking allegations. Former national security adviser Susan Rice and former ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power also have been questioned for their alleged involvement in requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting.

Reports of unmasking by the Obama administration surfaced in March, when House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., claimed the former administration had gathered personal information of several Trump associates.


Rhodes was not available for comment after his meeting.

Power spoke to the same committee earlier this month. Sources have told Fox News that Power was unmasking at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016. A Power spokesman, however, called the reports about her intelligence requests “false.”

Former attorney general Loretta Lynch also was interviewed by the committee last week.

And back in September, Rice told congressional investigators that she unmasked Trump associates to learn more about the campaign’s contact with foreign officials.

Meanwhile, congressional committees continue to probe allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, met with House and Senate committees this week to address his alleged communication with Russian officials during the campaign.