Barr: No Evidence That Trump Investigation Was Improper

Stefani Reynolds/CNP via ZUMA

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Here’s the headline that’s still on the New York Times front page:

Via Axios, here’s the full exchange:

Barr: I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. … There were a lot of rules put in place to make sure that there’s an adequate basis before our law enforcement agencies get involved in political surveillance. I’m not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it’s important to look at that.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.): But you’re not suggesting that spying occurred?

Barr: I don’t … well … I guess you could — I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur. But the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated. And I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.

What Barr is talking about is normally referred to as “investigation.” The FBI did indeed investigate various members of the Trump campaign, and there has never been the slightest evidence that it was improper. The case was precipitated by a tipsy George Papadopoulos telling an Australian diplomat that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. The Australians reported the meeting and the FBI began its investigation.

So perhaps a better headline would be something like this: “Barr: No Evidence That Trump Investigation Was Improper.”

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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