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Barr cites 'spying' on 2016 Trump campaign

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 2 weeks ago - Duration: 01:30s

Barr cites 'spying' on 2016 Trump campaign

U.S. Attorney General William Barr sparred with lawmakers on Wednesday over whether "spying" occurred on President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, a day after saying that a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the election will be out "within a week." Nathan Frandino reports.

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Barr cites 'spying' on 2016 Trump campaign

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR, SAYING: "I think spying did occur." In a stunning statement to senators Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr said he was looking into whether U.S. intelligence agencies crossed the line when they conducted surveillance on the presidential campaign of Donald Trump in 2016.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR, SAYING: "I think spying did occur.

But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I am not suggesting that it wasn't adequately predicated.

But I need to explore that." The remarks came on his second day of budget hearings on Capitol Hill, after Barr on Tuesday said he would release a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russia probe "within a week." Barr has been forced to defend issuing a 4-page summary of the report, which Barr said did not find Trump or his campaign had conspired with Russia.

Barr also decided not to pursue obstruction charges against Trump.

Democrats have demanded to see the full unredacted report.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump again called for the Mueller probe's origins to be examined in strident terms, calling it "an attempted coup" that failed.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "And this was a, an attempted coup.

This was an attempted takedown of a president." Trump said he not seen or read the report, but that it did not matter.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "As far as I'm concerned I don't care about the Mueller report.

I've been totally exonerated." Mueller's probe was launched by Trump appointee deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein after Trump fired former FBI director James Comey.

According to Barr's summary, Mueller's report did not exonerate Trump.

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