For example, if a US person were communicating with a known foreign spy, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a senior counterintelligence official would probably have a need to know that fact and could request the unmasking.
In recent days, Trump has sought to amplify an "Obamagate" conspiracy theory that has taken root on the right that falsely suggests Obama and former vice president Joe Biden oversaw an effort to spy on Trump's campaign to delegitimize his presidency.
True, it's not unusual for officials to make unmasking requests, but Obama's team was obsessed with Trump's foreign-policy team, particularly Michael Flynn, who had been kicked out of Obama's administration.
The declassified document does not show that Biden did anything improper, and it says the unmasking request was approved under normal procedures at the National Security Agency. The lawmakers posted a copy of the letter on the Senate Homeland Security Committee's website. That raises questions about what other events or information concerned these USA officials and prompted them to make unmasking requests. By disclosing these officials, the Senators are raising the spectre of wrongdoing because members of the Obama administration, including and perhaps especially Biden, appear on the list.
Names of Americans are routinely hidden, or minimized, in intelligence reports that describe routine, legal surveillance of foreign targets.
According to records maintained by the ODNI and published in transparency reports, thousands of Americans" identities are "unmasked' in intelligence reports every year.
Giant 'murder' hornets spotted in the USA for the first time
Despite its deadly venom and sizable stinger, you still shouldn't fear Asian giant hornets, especially if you live in the U.S. It is not known how they got here but Looney says the most likely cause if from a cargo ship between Asia and North America.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan has yet to rule on the Justice Department's dismissal request and has indicated he is not inclined to do so swiftly. Yates, in her interview, indicated Obama was aware of Flynn's intercepted December 2016 phone calls with Kislyak during the presidential transition period.
Barr has played a leading role in rolling back aspects of the Mueller investigation, which focused on Moscow's meddling in the 2016 election.
It's unclear whether Trump's focus on the Russian Federation investigation will benefit his reelection campaign.
An American unmasked in one of those intelligence reports was Flynn, who was observed talking to the Russian ambassador.
"What's more, it's telling that these documents were selectively leaked by Republicans abusing their congressional powers to act as arms of the Trump campaign after having them provided by a partisan official installed for this very objective".
The tweets by Jackson are like music to Trump's ears as another voice that supports his claims against Obama.
"Mr. Flynn was set to become the national security adviser, and it was untenable that Russian Federation - which the intelligence community had just assessed had sought to interfere in the US presidential election - might have leverage over him", Mary McCord, the Justice Department's top national security official at the time, wrote in a New York Times opinion piece in which she accused Barr of misrepresenting her viewpoints.