"The situation that I think is intolerable, and which I'm opposed to, is the current situation we're in", Barr told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday morning.
He says he believes that "spying on a political campaign is a big deal". And, back in February, Trump agreed with right wing Fox News guest Dan Bongino's allegation that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe were trying to carry out "an illegal coup attempt".
"I think it's important to look at that..." "I think that is one of the principal roles of the attorney general".
That is a change from Barr's past statement just 11 days ago when he said in a letter sent to the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary committees. "As far as I'm concerned I don't care about the Mueller report".
In March 2017, Trump accused his predecessor in the White House, Barack Obama, of "wire tapping" the Trump Tower offices in NY before the presidential election in November 2016, claiming the former president had overseen a "Nixon/Watergate"-style intervention". "I'm not talking about the Federal Bureau of Investigation necessarily but intelligence agencies more broadly". The CIA used at least one informer to collect information about it.
Barr's inquiry is separate from a long-running investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general.
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Barr said he isn't "putting a panel together" and the effort may not result in a criminal investigation or the finding of a crime.
Barr repeatedly refused to answer a direct question as to whether the White House has seen - or will see - the full Mueller report prior to its release.
Attorney General William Barr has a team reviewing the origins of the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, according to a person familiar with the situation who insisted on anonymity to discuss internal discussions. However, Mueller did not come down on whether Trump obstructed justice during his continuous and fierce opposition to the probe. But said: "That's generally how the Department of Justice works". Then FBI agent Peter Strzok, who worked on the Hillary Clinton email investigation, responded by saying, "No, no". What they did was against our Constitution and everything we stand for, ' Trump said.
The attorney general also clarified earlier comments that he believed "spying" occurred on the Trump campaign. And I'm not suggesting that it wasn't adequately predicated. That began in 2016 during the election and then continued in 2017 under the stewardship of special counsel Robert Mueller after Trump became president and then fired the head of the FBI, James Comey.
Barr didn't suggest at that time, however, that there may have been "unauthorized surveillance".
Barr said he hasn't specifically studied the States Act himself, but the Justice Department is reviewing the legislation.