The current Trump/White House narrative designed to distract and deflect attention away from the massive array of ties Trump and his associates have with Russia, is to cast themselves as victims of politicized intelligence who were illegitimately spied on and thence illegitimately “unmasked.”
One of the key deceptions at the heart of this narrative is the notion that Trump and/or his associates were parties to the intercepted conversations from which their names were subsequently unmasked.
As Business Insider notes:
[F]ormer NSA Director Michael Hayden, who also served as the principal deputy director of national intelligence and the director of the CIA, cautioned against “automatically assuming that the US person was party to the conversation” that may have prompted an unmasking.
“My life experience suggests that the overwhelming proportion of these cases of incidental collection is not information to or from an American, but information about an American,” Hayden said. “In this case, it is very likely in most instances two foreigners talking about the Trump transition.”