Former FBI Director James Comey accused Attorney General William Barr on Saturday of peddling “conspiracy theories” about the origins of the Russia investigation during an interview with CBS News.
Bill Barr on CBS offers no facts. An AG should not be echoing conspiracy theories. He should gather facts and show them. That is what Justice is about.
— James Comey (@Comey) June 1, 2019
Barr is not satisfied with information he has received about the origins of the FBI’s investigation and the government’s surveillance activities against the Trump campaign, he told CBS News in an interview Friday.
He also called the theory that Trump was a Russian asset “bogus.”
“Mueller has spent two and half years and the fact is there is no evidence of a conspiracy. So it was bogus, this whole idea that the Trump was in cahoots with the Russians is bogus,” Barr said, referring to Robert Mueller, the special counsel.
Barr has appointed a federal prosecutor to lead an inquiry into the origins of the Russia probe and surveillance of the Trump campaign. He doubled down on his use of the term “spying” to describe the surveillance, which included the use of wiretaps and multiple informants.
He told CBS the information he has received about the investigation since taking office is “just not jiving” with official claims about the government’s activities before and during the investigation.
“I assumed I’d get answers when I went in and I have not gotten answers that are well satisfactory, and in fact probably have more questions,” Barr said, adding that “some of the facts that … I’ve learned don’t hang together with the official explanations of what happened.”
Mueller said in a report released April 18 that the special counsel’s office was unable to establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election.
As FBI director, Comey oversaw Crossfire Hurricane, the investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russians to interfere in the 2016 election. Mueller took over that investigation May 17, 2017, about a week after Comey was fired as FBI director.
The FBI relied heavily on the infamous Steele dossier for its investigation. The dossier said Trump associates were part of a “well-developed conspiracy of co-ordination” with the Kremlin. Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, also said the Russian government had a blackmail video of Trump with prostitutes during a visit to Moscow in 2013.
Comey told Trump about the dossier’s allegation Jan. 6, 2017, during a briefing at Trump Tower. Trump, who has denied being with prostitutes in Moscow, has accused Comey of trying to shake him down by bringing up the unverified and salacious claim.
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