Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Barr: ‘I Think Spying Did Occur’ Against Trump Campaign

 
Attorney General Bill Barr testifies before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the president’s proposed 2020 budget. April 10, 2019. Screen shot from C-Span.

Attorney General Bill Barr stated in testimony before the Senate appropriations subcommittee this morning that he thinks “spying did occur” against the Trump campaign. From Fox News:

“I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated. … I think it’s my obligation. Congress is usually very concerned with intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane,” he testified before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, while noting that “spying on a political campaign is a big deal.”

Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) later in the hearing tried to get Barr to rephrase, stating, “I think when the attorney general of the United States uses the word spying it is provocative and unnecessarily inflammatory.” Barr replied, “I want to make sure there was no unauthorized surveillance.”

The subcommittee chairman, Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), then asked Barr what the basis was for his belief that surveillance or spying may have occurred. Barr replied, “I believe there is a basis for my concern, but I’m not going to discuss the basis.”

There are 19 comments.

  1. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I like this man more and more every day! He’s not letting the Dems manipulate him, and his demeanor is very impressive. I’m beginning to have hope that we will finally have investigations that are needed. The Dems will give Barr so much grief, but he’s up for it. In fact, I thought I saw a twinkle in his eye in the hearing today.

    • #1
    • April 10, 2019, at 9:59 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  2. Max Ledoux Admin

    Here’s a hilarious walk down memory lane…

    NYT: Trump, Offering No Evidence, Says Obama Tapped His Phones

    MSNBC: Without proof, Trump claims FBI spied on his campaign

    CNN: Trump doubles down on “spy” claim without evidence

    Reuters: Trump claims without evidence his campaign was spied on illegally

    Meanwhile, via a new poll from Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter:

    Confidence in media institutions slips from last year: The share of voters who said they had “a lot” or “some” confidence in newspapers dropped 15 points between January and December 2018 , from 53 percent to 38 percent, while confidence in television news dropped from 48 percent to 35 percent.

    I think there’s a connection between the media lying constantly and their ongoing credibility crisis. Maybe I’m wrong… Get this, from the same poll: “Democrats’ confidence in newspapers and TV news also suffered double-digit drops in 2018.” You know, Democrats are only going to lose more confidence this year. Think about it. Who is the media lying to primarily? I’m not watching Rachel Maddow. Democrats are. Democrats are the ones being misled the most.

    • #2
    • April 10, 2019, at 10:12 AM PST
    • 17 likes
  3. James Gawron Thatcher

    Ricochet Editors' Desk: Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) later in the hearing tried to get Barr to rephrase, stating, “I think when the attorney general of the United States uses the word spying it is provocative and unnecessarily inflammatory.”

    Eds,

    Right, screaming “collusion”, “treason”, and “impeachment” with no evidence whatsoever for 2.5 years is just the way the cookie crumbles but when the AG one time uses the word spying given massive evidence thereof it is provocative and unnecessarily inflammatory.

    Isn’t Schatz another word for @#%& (please makeup and fill in your own unpleasant remark)?

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #3
    • April 10, 2019, at 10:28 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  4. Franco Member

    They can’t deal with the truth so they claim the word describing the truth are “inflammatory” and should not be uttered in public.

    I didn’t know James Bond movies and John le Carre novels were so controversial. Ban them! Or at least, change the names for Godsakes!

    The Spy Unauthorized Surveillance Agent Who Came in from the Cold

    The Spy Government Voyeur Who Loved Me

    That old TV s starring Robert Culp and Bill Cosby I Spy Peek

     

    • #4
    • April 10, 2019, at 10:38 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  5. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member

    Feels like the news finally catches up to what we’ve known for well over a year.

    • #5
    • April 10, 2019, at 10:39 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  6. Jim McConnell Member

    The word that comes to mind for describing AG Barr is “professional;” whereas, so many of his predecessors were “careerists.”

    • #6
    • April 10, 2019, at 10:50 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  7. Max Ledoux Admin

    Democrats are more upset at the word “spy” than at the Obama administration spying on political enemies. Trump’s not the only one they spied on. I’m confident it will eventually be revealed that other presidential candidates were also spied on. But in addition don’t forget that the Obama admin spied on journalists — James Rosen of Fox News, the AP, and also Sharyll Atkisson.

    • #7
    • April 10, 2019, at 11:10 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  8. Vance Richards Member

    I like the “but provides no evidence” part of this headline. Not like they spent two years talking about Russia with no evidence.

     

    • #8
    • April 10, 2019, at 11:15 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  9. Percival Thatcher

    I’m not vindictive. I just want heads on pikes and hides nailed to barn doors.

    Nothing fancy.

    • #9
    • April 10, 2019, at 11:31 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  10. James Gawron Thatcher

    Percival (View Comment):

    I’m not vindictive. I just want heads on pikes and hides nailed to barn doors.

    Nothing fancy.

    Perci,

    A sensible approach.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #10
    • April 10, 2019, at 12:14 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Western Chauvinist Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    I like the “but provides no evidence” part of this headline. Not like they spent two years talking about Russia with no evidence.

    So rich I’m gagging. 

    • #11
    • April 10, 2019, at 12:17 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. Mark Camp Member

    I request legal advice from [some] counsel here.

    Which of the two opposite things that I (as a layman) thought I heard Barr saying was Barr saying?

    He said he thought there was spying. OK. I heard that sort of squirm out, as if he’d been caught off-guard by the line of questioning. I waited to hear if he was announcing, accidentally or intentionally (prior to release of the report!) that he believed wrong-doing, or wrong-doing that was also illegal, or wrong-doing that was illegal and also criminal, had occurred.

    It turned out that a Senator had the same surprised reaction, and the same question. “Wow! What did you mean by ‘spying’? Did you want to take that back or clarify it?”

    After that I got alternating impressions from Barr’s words. “Spying” by itself simply meant “covert monitoring”, neither wrong nor right by itself, neither illegal nor illegal by itself. He reinforced this by saying that he just wanted to find out if it was “predicated” spying. In other words, proper and legal.

    But when he said that spying is “unauthorized monitoring”, well, that is exactly the opposite!

    • #12
    • April 10, 2019, at 2:38 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Percival Thatcher

    Using the FBI/DOJ, the CIA, and God knows what else to launch an “investigation” into political opponents makes Watergate look like a frat boy prank. And as a frat boy who authored, instigated, aided and abetted enough pranks for three fraternities, I should know.

    (And no, I don’t know what happened to your class paddle. Must have been the Betas — they’re animals.)

    I don’t care who you are or why you thought that doing this without justification was permissible. You need to be made an example of.

    • #13
    • April 10, 2019, at 3:06 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  14. Percival Thatcher

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    I request legal advice from [some] counsel here.

    Which of the two opposite things that I (as a layman) thought I heard Barr saying was Barr saying?

    He said he thought there was spying. OK. I heard that sort of squirm out, as if he’d been caught off-guard by the line of questioning. I waited to hear if he was announcing, accidentally or intentionally (prior to release of the report!) that he believed wrong-doing, or wrong-doing that was also illegal, or wrong-doing that was illegal and also criminal, had occurred.

    It turned out that a Senator had the same surprised reaction, and the same question. “Wow! What did you mean by ‘spying’? Did you want to take that back or clarify it?”

    After that I got alternating impressions from Barr’s words. “Spying” by itself simply meant “covert monitoring”, neither wrong nor right by itself, neither illegal nor illegal by itself. He reinforced this by saying that he just wanted to find out if it was “predicated” spying. In other words, proper and legal.

    But when he said that spying is “unauthorized monitoring”, well, that is exactly the opposite!

    I took it to mean that he wants to investigate the authorization.

    • #14
    • April 10, 2019, at 3:12 PM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Geri Member

    Ricochet Editors' Desk:Attorney General Bill Barr testifies before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the president’s proposed 2020 budget. April 10, 2019. Screen shot from C-Span.

    Attorney General Bill Barr stated in testimony before the Senate appropriations subcommittee this morning that he thinks “spying did occur” against the Trump campaign. From Fox News:

    “I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated. … I think it’s my obligation. Congress is usually very concerned with intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane,” he testified before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, while noting that “spying on a political campaign is a big deal.”

    Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) later in the hearing tried to get Barr to rephrase, stating, “I think when the attorney general of the United States uses the word spying it is provocative and unnecessarily inflammatory.” Barr replied, “I want to make sure there was no unauthorized surveillance.”

    The subcommittee chairman, Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), then asked Barr what the basis was for his belief that surveillance or spying may have occurred. Barr replied, “I believe there is a basis for my concern, but I’m not going to discuss the basis.”

     

    • #15
    • April 10, 2019, at 4:13 PM PST
    • 1 like
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    But when he said that spying is “unauthorized monitoring”, well, that is exactly the opposite!

    We have to wait for the report!!!

    • #16
    • April 10, 2019, at 4:56 PM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Annefy Member

    I think they’re talking about Halper, who is regularly referred to (incorrectly, I might add) as an “informant”. An informant is someone from the inside. 

    Halper was a spy straight up. 

    • #17
    • April 10, 2019, at 5:44 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  18. Sweezle Member

    AG Barr was wonderful today. Thankfully we have C-Span and I can watch it unfiltered. I don’t want to get to ahead of the results from the Mueller report. But we will get the facts from the IG report and the AG will follow up. If laws were broken we will know by Summer(?).

    • #18
    • April 10, 2019, at 6:22 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Percival (View Comment):

    I’m not vindictive. I just want heads on pikes and hides nailed to barn doors.

    Nothing fancy.

    Perhaps a small, tasteful bloodbath to discourage people from engaging in this sort of thing going forward. 

    • #19
    • April 10, 2019, at 7:07 PM PST
    • 7 likes