Wednesday, March 22, 2017
More about what "unmasking" means -- it could have happened to me, even
There is some more clarification of what “unmasking” by the NSA means. If an American tried to contact Vladimir Putin or high Russian officials, the NSA would pick it up. In the effort to identify foreign officials, a FISA court might allow the identification of American citizens. This can be quite common. It could be someone ordinary, even like me, or the citizen could be Donald Trump, or an official in the previous Obama administration.
When private citizens get classified tips sent to them, and authorities find out (as would happen in the four or five foreign tips I have shared sent to me over the years – one might have concerned a possible attack in Indonesia), something similar to “unmasking” happens. It normally will not result in adverse action against the citizen. (I have TSA pre-cleared flight status.)
All of this means that most of Trump’s complaints about Obama are pretty meaningless, but not without some remote foundation.
But it is possible that crimes might have been committed in the apparent connections between Putin and Trump’s campaigns, Vox, Zack Beauchamp – but the “grand jury” is still some time away. .