News and Commentary

Democrats Demand Attorney General William Barr Walk Back “Spy” Comments

The political party that has spent the past two years spreading conspiracy theories from anonymous sources about President Donald Trump allegedly colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election and who claimed that election was “hacked,” are now concerned about the meaning of words.

After Attorney General William Barr testified before congress on Wednesday that he believed Trump’s 2016 election was spied on, Democrats and those pushing the collusion conspiracy rushed to demand he walk back those words.

“I am going to be reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016,” Barr said at a hearing on Wednesday, responding to a question about this investigation. “One of the things I want to do is pull together all the information from the various investigations that have gone on … and see if there are any remaining questions to be addressed.”

Barr was then asked if he believed “spying occurred” on the Trump campaign, to which the attorney general replied: “I don’t—well, I guess you could. I think spying did occur, yes. I think spying did occur.”

“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,” Barr continued. “I’m not suggesting that those rules were violated, but I think it’s important to look at that. And I’m not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.”

Democrats, still clinging to hope that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report will contradict Barr’s summary of the report, demanded the attorney general recant his statement.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Twitter that Barr was “[p]erpetuating conspiracy theories” for which he had “no evidence.”

“AG Barr admitted he had no evidence to support his claim that spying on the Trump campaign ‘did occur,’” Schumer said. “AG Barr must retract his statement immediately or produce specific evidence to back it up. Perpetuating conspiracy theories is beneath the office of the Attorney General.”

Barr actually said he didn’t have evidence to suggest the FBI acted “improper,” not that he had no evidence of spying.

“The question is whether it was adequately predicated and I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that,” Barr said during his hearing.

Later in the hearing, he said: “I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred. I’m saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it. That’s all.”

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who has admitted to lying in testimony to congress (but now laughably claims he misunderstood the question), said that it was “stunning and scary” that Barr would claim the Trump campaign was spied on.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) also responded to Barr’s remarks, writing in a statement published by the Hill that the attorney general was “carelessly acting as a mouthpiece for President Trump’s conspiracy theories.”

“Attorney General Barr must retract his unfounded, irresponsible claim that American law enforcement ‘spied’ on the Trump Campaign. The only spies interfering in the 2016 campaign were Russian ones,” Blumenthal said in his statement.

Back in July 2018, the Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway detailed how the Trump campaign was spied on. It was even admitted to by Democrats and former Obama officials, who used terms like “informant” instead of spy.

Trump has previously accused the Obama administration of spying on his campaign. Democrats seem to have a problem with this particular word because it vindicates Trump.