Attorney General Bill Barr just gave an exclusive interview to CBS explaining (once again) why the Mueller Report exonerates Trump.
In the interview, Barr defended his claim that he believes spying did occur on the Trump campaign back in 2016 and gave some insight on his recent investigation into the surveillance on the campaign.
“I had a lot of questions about what was going on. I assumed I’d get answers when I went in and I have not gotten answers that are well satisfactory, and in fact have probably more questions and that some of the facts that I’ve learned don’t hang together with the official explanations of what happened…things are just not jiving.”
Watch this part of the interview here for yourself:
Take a look at the breaking news of Barr's interview trending on Twitter:
ABC News said this regarding the interview:
Elaborating on his ongoing review of how the FBI's investigation began, including what he has called "spying" on the Trump campaign, Barr said, “I think the activities were undertaken by a small group at the top which is one of the- probably one of the mistakes that has been made instead of running this as a normal Bureau investigation or counterintelligence investigation,” Barr said. “It was done by the executives at the senior level, out of headquarters.”
"Like many others regarding intelligence activities, I had a lot of questions. I went in and got no answers that are satisfactory and, in fact, probably have more questions and some of the facts I've learned don't hang together with the official explanations of what happened," Barr said. "That's really all I will say, things are not jiving."
Speaking generally about the danger of a government abuse of power, he said "...republics have fallen because of Praetorian Guard mentality where government officials get very arrogant, they identify the national interest with their own political preferences and they feel that anyone who has a different opinion, you know, is somehow an enemy of the state.
"And you know, there is that tendency that they know better and that, you know, they're there to protect as guardians of the people. That can easily translate into essentially supervening the will of the majority and getting your own way as a government official," he said.
Barr continued to defend his use of the word "spying," saying it is "part of the craziness of the modern day that if the president uses a word it all of a sudden becomes off bounds. It's a perfectly good English word. I'll continue to use it."
He also used some of his strongest language yet in criticizing Mueller's report and his not making a decision on whether the president obstructed justice, dismissing "a lot" of the legal analysis in the report as "the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers" not the Justice Department's.
"Well, I think Bob said that he was not going to engage in the analysis," Barr said. "He was not going to make a determination one way or the other. We analyzed the law and the facts, and a group of us spent a lot of time doing that and determined that both as a matter of law, many of the instances would not amount to obstruction as a matter of law.
"In other words, we didn't agree with the legal analysis -- a lot of the legal analysis in the report. It did not reflect the views of the department. It was the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers, and so we applied what we thought was the right law," Barr said in his first television network interview since Mueller made his public statement on Wednesday.
Barr, according to CBS, said that over a period of weeks he had asked the special counsel's office to identify the sensitive grand jury material in the report so that he could release the rest immediately to the public and was surprised when Mueller's team delivered the report to him with no redactions.
Barr also said that he's not surprised by the blowback he is getting.
"We live in a crazy hyper-partisan time and I knew it was only be a matter of time if I was behaving responsibly and calling them as I see them, that I'd be attacked because nowadays people don't care about the merits or the substance. They only care about who helps, benefits, whether my side benefits or the other side benefits," he said.
"Everything is gauged by politics and that antithetical to the way the department runs and any attorney general in this period is going to end up losing a lot of political capital and I realized that and that's one of the reasons why I was ultimately persuaded to take it on because I think at my stage in life it doesn't really make any difference."
Asked about his legacy, Barr said it doesn't matter.
"Everyone dies and I don't believe in the Homeric idea that immortality comes by having odes sung about you over the centuries," he said.
The Daily Caller had the following to say about Barr's comments:
Attorney General William Barr says that official statements about the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation “are just not jiving” with information he has learned during his short stint in office.
“I assumed I’d get answers when I went in and I have not gotten answers that are well satisfactory, and in fact probably have more questions,” Barr said in an interview with CBS News, adding that “some of the facts that…I’ve learned don’t hang together with the official explanations of what happened.”
“[T]here’s some questions that I think have to be answered, and I have a basis for feeling there has to be a review of this,” he told CBS.
Barr is investigating government agencies’ surveillance activities against the Trump campaign, as well as the FBI’s rationale for opening a counterintelligence investigation against Trump associates in July 2016.
Barr caused a stir during a Senate hearing on April 9 when he said that he believed that “spying did occur” against the Trump campaign. He has since defended using the term “spying,” saying that there is nothing wrong with intelligence agencies spying. But he said he wants to find out whether there was a proper predicate for the surveillance and whether it was conducted legally.
The FBI used at least one informant, Stefan Halper, to make contact with Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. It has also been reported that a woman who presented herself as Halper’s assistant during the Papadopoulos operation was actually a government investigator.
It is still not clear which agency employed the investigator, who went by the alias Azra Turk. Barr is also looking into the FBI’s use of the infamous and unverified Steele dossier to obtain surveillance warrants against Carter Page.
Barr appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to lead his investigation. President Trump granted Barr the authority to declassify materials he obtains during the investigation.
Barr suggested that one area he is looking at is the timeline of government agencies’ interest in the Trump campaign.
“Things are just not jiving,” he told CBS.