Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn's name was never "masked" by the FBI in the document that cited it. It flies in the face of President Donald Trump's claim that someone illegally leaked it from former President Barack Obama's administration.
According to the story from the Washington Post, the Republican attempt to tie former Vice President Joe Biden to a scandal that doesn't exist has failed spectacularly.
According to the report: "in the FBI report about the communications between the two men, Flynn's name was never redacted, former U.S. officials said."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced that he wants to subpoena witnesses over the unmasking of Flynn. He sent a letter demanding Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell ask why a declassified list of Obama officials made the requests "that revealed Flynn's name in intelligence documents 'did not contain a record showing who unmasked' Flynn's identity in relation to "his phone call with" the Russian diplomat, Sergey Kislyak," said the Post.
"They were unmasking anyone and everyone so that they could leak information to a press that was willing to take that illegal information to build a fake, phony narrative, to set up numerous people on the Trump team, not just General Flynn," claimed Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) in a Fox News interview.
Conservative super PAC director Matt Schlapp implied during a Fox News interview last week that it was Biden that leaked the information to the Washington Post. It didn't hold up against actual information, however, because the former vice president requested the information after the article appeared in the Post, according to the date on the list Grenell released.
"The list, prepared at Grenell's request by the National Security Agency, covered requests made between Nov. 30, 2016, and Jan. 12, 2017. The majority of requests occurred before Flynn's communications with Kislyak on Dec. 29," said the Post. "It was the FBI, not the NSA, that wiretapped Kislyak's calls and created the summary and transcript, the former officials said."
"When the FBI circulated [the report], they included Flynn's name from the beginning," saying that it was essential to understanding its significance, a former senior U.S. official told the Post. "There were, therefore, no requests for the unmasking of that information."
The Post called Graham's office to tell him that the name was never masked, but Graham's aide said the committee would still like a "written answer" to their question.
When told by The Post that the name was never masked in the Dec. 29 communication, a Graham aide said the committee would still like the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's "written answer" to its question.
No Republican Senator has yet to ask for the notes from the actual call Flynn had with Sergey Kislyak, but former national security adviser Susan Rice has asked what the White House has to hide.