Rand Paul asks if he was spied on by Obama

Susan Rice: Trump claims 'absolutely false'
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Story highlights

  • Rand Paul did not provide any evidence that showed he was a target of surveillance
  • The Kentucky senator follows similar accusations the President made

(CNN)Sen. Rand Paul announced Friday that he has sent a formal request to the White House and the House and Senate intelligence committees for information about whether he had ever been surveliled by the Obama administration -- apparently in response to a report this week on National Security Agency policies under the former administration.

"I have formally requested from the WH and the Intel Committees info on whether I was surveilled by the Obama admin and or the Intel Community!" Paul wrote on Twitter, the third in a series of tweets Friday morning that linked to a report from Circa on NSA surveillance during the Obama administration.
Paul did not provide any evidence to show he was a target of surveillance, and nothing in the article he shared directly suggested that he was. CNN has reached out to President Barack Obama's representatives and have not yet received a response.
The report from Circa detailed the Obama administration "expanded efforts" to search NSA intercepts of Americans' foreign communications and to loosen the rules on sharing that information -- the sort of "unmasking" that led to former national security adviser Michael Flynn's ouster. The report examined the changes, which were instituted in 2011, within the context of the 2016 election.
The report also alleged that members of Congress and their staff were "among those whose names were unmasked" in 2016 and 2017, which is likely what prompted Paul's announcement.
President Donald Trump accused the Obama administration in March of wiretapping Trump Tower last year, a charge Obama and intelligence leaders in his administration consistently denied. Congressional leaders investigating the claim have repeatedly said they've seen no evidence that Trump or Trump Tower was wiretapped.
CNN reported last month that the FBI did gather intelligence last summer suggesting that Russian operatives tried to use Trump advisers, including former foreign policy adviser Carter Page, to infiltrate the Trump campaign, according to US officials. As part of that process, the FBI sought and received a warrant from a secret court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to monitor Page's communications.