Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday dismissed the Justice Department’s inspector general report, saying he didn’t buy its finding that the FBI had no political bias in opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia in 2016.
“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press,” Barr said. “I think there were gross abuses … and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI.”
He laid blame on Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who released the report after reviewing a million documents and interviewing 100 people.
“All he said was, people gave me an explanation and I didn’t find anything to contradict it. … He hasn’t decided the issue of improper motive,” Barr said. “I think we have to wait until the full investigation is done.”
The attorney general’s remarks renew questions about his allegiance to President Donald Trump. Barr, who replaced Jeff Sessions in February, has been a steadfast defender of the president. Last month, he faced calls for his own impeachment after attacking Democrats for declaring a “war of resistance” against Trump and claiming “scorched earth, no-holds-barred” challenges to the president’s power amount to a “systematic shredding of [constitutional] norms and undermining the rule of law.”
Barr also promoted conspiracies in his NBC News interview.
“It was clearly spied upon,” he said of the FBI using confidential informants to record conversations with Trump campaign officials. “That’s what electronic surveillance is … going through people’s emails, wiring people up.”