Jerry Nadler attacks Attorney General Barr over use of word ‘spying’

During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said that the notion that the U.S. Government spied on President Trump is “complete and total nonsense.”

Nadler said that “spying is a loaded word” and Attorney General William Barr should not have used it to characterize the investigation of Trump’s campaign. He said the FBI acted correctly in obtaining Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to wiretap Trump aide Carter Page.

“The FBI followed procedure, they got a FISA warrant, they properly did it. In fact, deputy attorney general [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein signed off on one of the renewals of that FISA warrant,” Nadler said. “ … That’s not spying. Spying is a loaded word and the attorney general should not have used that.”

Nadler then unloaded on Barr, questioning his objectivity and saying that he was acting as a “personal agent” to Trump.

“The attorney general, when he started talking completely without evidence, as he said about ‘spying’ on the Trump campaign — when what he meant was executing judicially ordered warrants — showed his bias and the fact that he’s really acting as a personal agent to the president rather than as the attorney general of the United States on this matter,” Nadler said.

AG William Barr made the comments during a Senate budget panel hearing on Wednesday when discussing investigation into the beginning of the Trump-Russia probe.

“I am going to be reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016. I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr said.

The comments set off a media firestorm and have had Democrats and some in the intelligence community up in arms over the use of the word “spying.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Barr “went off the rails.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for an immediate retraction.

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