The Inquisitr recently reported that Attorney General William Barr testified before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday that the FBI spied on members of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and he wants to investigate to determine that it was justified. Now, Trump is defending Barr’s testimony, claiming that “spying did occur” and that the statement was “absolutely true. He also believes that the surveillance was “illegal,” per Fox News.
Before Trump had an Oval Office meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, he responded to the question of whether he was “pleased” with Barr’s testimony.
“Yes, I am. I think what he said was absolutely true. There was absolutely spying into my campaign. I’ll go a step further and say it was illegal spying. Unprecedented spying.”
“It’s hard to believe it could have happened, but it did. There was spying on my campaign and his answer was a very accurate one,” he added.
Barr’s testimony created Democratic backlash, with some suggesting that he was fueling the fire of conspiracy theories without evidence. Follow his “spying” comment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted Barr and said that she no longer trusts him, as The Inquisitr reported.
“He is not the attorney general of Donald Trump. He is the attorney general of the United States.”
— CNN (@CNN) April 11, 2019
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said that Barr’s comments were a partisan attempt to appeal to the president. He added that Trump’s comment was harmful to the “democratic institutions” of the U.S.
“The hardworking men and women at the DOJ and FBI deserve better.”
As per Fox News, Barr was not critical of the Justice Department or FBI as a whole when he spoke of spying on the Trump campaign, instead focusing on people in the higher roles of leadership. His comments appear to be a reference to intelligence collection that was previously reported, such as via Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Carter Page — a former Trump campaign aide.
The warrants are reportedly the subject of a current Justice Department inspector general investigation, which aims to determine whether the issuing of the warrants involved misconduct. In addition, the same review is examining the role of an FBI informant in Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
But other Democrats are joining Pelosi in her criticism of Barr for his insinuation that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign. For example, Senator Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, claims that Barr’s statements were made to intentionally conflate spying with standard intelligence gathering procedure.