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REPORT: Trump Says Rice Committed a Crime By Attempting to Unmask Trump Allies

The president also noted the media is more interested in Bill O’Reilly, whom he called a “good person,” than the Rice story

Susan Rice

The New York Times is reporting that President Donald Trump, when asked if former National Security Adviser Susan Rice committed a crime by attempting to unmask Trump associates in intelligence reports, said “Yes, I think [she did].” 

“I think it’s going to be the biggest story,” Mr. Trump said in an interview in the Oval Office, declining repeated requests for evidence for his allegations or the names of other Obama administration officials. “It’s such an important story for our country and the world. It is one of the big stories of our time.”

He declined to say if he had personally reviewed new intelligence to bolster his claim but pledged to explain himself “at the right time.”

When asked if Ms. Rice, who has denied leaking the names of Trump associates under surveillance by United States intelligence agencies, had committed a crime, the president said, “Do I think? Yes, I think.”

Rice maintains she did nothing unlawful.

The president also drew attention to the sexual harassment lawsuits filed against Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, arguing the media is more focused on that issue than the Rice story.

“I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” said Mr. Trump, who during the interview was surrounded at his desk by a half-dozen of his highest-ranking aides, including the economic adviser Gary Cohn and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, along with Vice President Mike Pence.

“I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled,” said Mr. Trump. “Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”