Attorney General Barr Says US Intel Agencies Spied on Trump Campaign

Attorney General William Barr gestures as he speaks before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request

Attorney General William Barr has pledged to release next week Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russia's role in the 2016 USA election and contacts between Moscow and President Donald Trump's campaign, albeit with colour-coded redactions.

US Attorney General William Barr sparred with Democrats on Wednesday over whether "spying" occurred on President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, and said that a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the election will be out next week.

I am going to be reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016 and a lot has already been investigated.by the office of the Inspector General.

What did the attorney general say?

"What role did the dossier play?"

BRIAN SCHATZ: I think the word spying could cause everybody in the cable news ecosystem to freak out.

Though he said the document will be redacted to withhold negative information about peripheral figures in the investigation, Barr said that would not apply to Trump, who is an officeholder and central to the probe. So do you feel like it carries more weight now when it comes from the attorney general?

At the White House Wednesday, President Trump repeated his claim that the investigation was illegal.

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"This struck me like lightning that one person decide - I assume the president wants you to - made this decision and everything that was done by way of proper legislative action has been taken and signature of a president, I just don't ever recall anything like this happening in the past quarter of a century", Sen.

Barr, without hesitation, said, "Yea, yes, senator".

"What they did was treason, what they did was bad, what they did was against our Constitution", the POTUS said. And they got caught.

"AG Barr admitted he had no evidence to support his claim that spying on the Trump campaign 'did occur, '" Schumer said in a Twitter post.

Then Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas had asked Barr to explain the basis for reaching a conclusion that spying or unauthorized surveillance on the Trump campaign was possible. But the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated.

Barr may have been referring to a surveillance warrant the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained in the fall of 2016 to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Republicans including Trump have also blasted the initial surveillance that a judge approved to monitor former Trump advisor Carter Page. I am saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it.

And Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence panel, told CNN that Barr's comment "almost seems to be endorsing one of these theories that has been debunked time and time again".

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