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President Donald Trump ordered Thursday that Attorney General William Barr be given authority to declassify information as part of his investigation into inflammatory claims that U.S. intelligence agencies “spied” on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
“President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election.”
Sanders noted that Trump had also granted “full and complete authority” to Barr to declassify any information necessary related to his investigation.
The move comes about a month after Barr appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee and testified that he believed “spying did occur” on Trump’s campaign during the 2016 race, though he claimed he was “not suggesting it wasn’t predicated,” or properly authorized.
Barr’s use of the term “spying” ― which isn’t typically used to describe court-authorized law enforcement monitoring ― boosted Republican claims that the FBI improperly surveilled the Trump campaign for political reasons.
Statement on Presidential Memorandum signed tonight pic.twitter.com/wHx6l2lL5c— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) May 24, 2019
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