Bill Barr Confirms: Yes, Spying Occurred During the 2016 Campaign and It's a Big Deal

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Posted: Apr 10, 2019 11:10 AM
Bill Barr Confirms: Yes, Spying Occurred During the 2016 Campaign and It's a Big Deal

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Testifying in front of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee Wednesday morning, Attorney General Bill Barr said he believes spying did occur during the 2016 presidential election against Donald Trump's campaign. 

"I think spying did occur," Barr said. "I'm not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly," Barr said.

"I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. I'm not suggesting those rules were violated but I think it's important to look at that," he continued. "The question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated, and I'm not suggesting it wasn't adequately predicated, but I need to explore that."

Late Tuesday evening, news broke that Barr has assembled a team at the Justice Department to look into allegations of FISA abuse, spying for political purposes and the basis for which the Special Counsel investigation into the 2016 election was launched. 

"I am going to be reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016," Barr said Wednesday.

During testimony in front of a House committee Tuesday, Barr said DOJ is "reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016."

Shortly after taking office in January 2017, President Trump accused President Obama of spying on his campaign. He was mocked by the media.

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