Speaking as a former intelligence analyst, you don’t know what you’re talking about. The CIA/NSA/FBI are ALWAYS monitoring foreign nationals. When that intercept includes a US citizen, they may either drop the contact or continue to monitor and the hide the US citizen’s identity. The choice they make depends on the importance of the intel. When the citizen’s identity is hidden (or “masked”), the highers have the option to unmask (or request unmasking) if needed. Often, it is impossible to understand the full import of the intelligence if you don’t have full context.
It seems at this point that the President’s people were not “spied on”, but simply caught in the dragnet of typical foreign national surveillance; of course the Times is not reporting that the President was “vindicated”; he was not. The President alleged illegal surveillance. Nothing thus far revealed indicates that the surveillance was illegal. To jump to that conclusion while the investigations are proceeding is nonsensical.
I don’t know if President Obama and/or his staff did anything illegal. Neither does anyone else without a security clearance. It does not help anybody to speculate as many have here.