"I think he's a person I know well - he is a good person", Trump told The Times.
"It's such an important story for our country and the world", POTUS continued.
Trump told the New York Times Wednesday that media outlets, including the Times, have not adequately covered the story.
Rice herself has publicly denied any wrongdoing.
And in response to Trump's allegations, a spokesperson for Rice said, "I'm not going to dignify the president's ludicrous charge with a comment". "It's very hard to prove that she made criminal intent with unmasking some of these names".
This past weekend, Bloomberg View reported that Rice's covert spying activities were discovered by the National Security Council's senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick while he was conducting a review on the "unmasking" of USA individuals who are monitored incidentally. And, in the end, if Trump and his team did nothing wrong, they should want the American people to be laser-focused not on what Susan Rice did or didn't do but on the investigations' means, methods and results. US officials may request-but not order-Americans' names unmasked for a few select reasons. The list of unmasked individuals reportedly reached authorities at the National Security Council, as well as individuals at the Defense Department and the Central Intelligence Agency.
At a March 20 House intelligence committee hearing, FBI Director James Comey addressed this issue when asked if Rice would have access to an unmasked American's name.
"Fulfilling the president's request for such a report, they went back and scrubbed more reports", Rice said of the intelligence agencies.
Intelligence officials said any requests that Rice may have made would have been handled by the intelligence agency responsible for the report, which in most cases would have been the National Security Agency.
Rice is responsible for unmasking the identities of multiple Trump presidential campaign and transition team officials caught up in intelligence data gathered by US agencies, according to Eli Lake of Bloomberg, citing unnamed USA officials.
Rice claims that the unmasking was necessary to provide "context" to intelligence reporting and therefore it was appropriate for her to do so.
Trump also said that other Obama administration officials may have been involved in the "unmasking" of the officials' identities.
Therefore, "contrary to Susan Rice's latest version of events", her actions have "little or nothing to do with whether laws were broken", Mr. McCarthy concluded.
Rice may now face an inquiry by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
According to a USA official, Rice asked spy agencies to give her the names of Trump associates who surfaced in intelligence reports she was regularly briefed on.
Rice, in an interview on MSNBC, would not say whether she had viewed intelligence involving Trump and his aides. Rice later clarified she was saying she didn't know what reports Nunes was referring to and said "I still do not".
Rice's interview came amid a growing controversy that the Obama administration abused USA intelligence to spy on the Trump campaign and leak intelligence to the press to hurt Trump.
After viewing the findings, the White House counsel's office told the NSC to stop the review and not conduct an independent investigation into whether there was improper handling of intelligence. Nunes has denied acting on behalf of the White House.style="text-align: center;"