The CIA did not act improperly regarding alleged ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, outgoing Attorney General William Barr said.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal posted Friday, Barr said he had doubts early on about the agency's conduct. He suspected the CIA was spying on the Trump campaign before the origin of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the alleged dealings with Russia.
However, Barr said he concluded the CIA "stayed in its lane" before appointing U.S. Attorney John Durham as special counsel in October to investigate the Crossfire Hurricane probe.
Barr said he did not "see any sign of improper CIA activity" or "foreign government activity before July 2016."
President Trump and his supporters have accused top Obama administration officials, including the CIA, of trying to sabotage his candidacy in 2016 and then his presidency.
In March 2019, the president tweeted: "'New evidence that the Obama era team of the FBI, DOJ & CIA were working together to Spy on (and take out) President Trump, all the way back in 2015.' A transcript of [former FBI agent] Peter Strzok's testimony is devastating. Hopefully the Mueller Report will be covering this."
Many Democrats and other officials have claimed President Trump and his backers were trying to denigrate special counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigation succeeded Crossfire Hurricane and did not find any criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Barr said Durham's team is focused on "the conduct of Crossfire Hurricane, the small group at the FBI that was most involved in that," and "the activities of certain private actors."
Former CIA Director John Brennan was interviewed for eight hours in August by Durham’s team. Brennan later said he was not under criminal investigation, per the Washington Examiner.
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