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Donald Trump Praises Bill Barr for Investigating Russia 'Hoax' Origin

14 May 2019

Attorney General William Barr appointed a U.S. attorney Monday night to investigate the shady origins of the Russia-Trump collusion probe and whether the DOJ acted "properly" while surveilling the Trump campaign heading into the 2016 election.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr speaks during a farewell ceremony for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2019.

While Barr has said he has "concerns" there was potential improper "spying" on members of the Trump campaign, he also has acknowledged he has seen no evidence to back up allegations by the president and his allies of unauthorized surveillance.

According to the document, the investigation did not find any evidence of collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign team.

Two people familiar with the matter said Durham is focused on the origins of the investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign, rather than the work Mueller and others did after Inauguration Day.

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During an appearance on "America's Newsroom" Tuesday morning, Scalise said Barr's decision to enlist US attorney in Connecticut John Durham illustrates that the justice department is "serious about cleaning house within the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

The person familiar with Barr's review told Reuters that Huber had been awaiting the completion of Horowitz's review. "I think it's a great thing that he did it, I saw it last night, and they want to look at how that whole hoax got started", Trump told reporters, after insisting he never asked Barr to personally open the investigation. "I think it's great". It was on actionable intelligence from foreign ambassadors concerned that our democracy was under threat from former interference.

Durham is a career federal prosecutor who has handled high-profile investigations before, including a probe into the destruction of Central Intelligence Agency tapes in 2005 of detainees being interrogated. Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between the campaign and the Kremlin. The report also drew no conclusion on whether Trump illegally tried to impede the Mueller probe.

As he prepared to depart the White House on Tuesday, Trump was asked whether he retained confidence in Wray, given his answer.

The review that Barr has commissioned is broad-based and includes working with Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, according to the person.

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"That is not the term I would use", he said at a Senate hearing.

That comment landed Wray in hot water with Trump, who lashed out when asked about it by reporters on Tuesday.

"I am so proud of our attorney general that he is looking into it", Trump said.

Durham, nominated as U.S. Attorney by Trump in late 2017 and confirmed in 2018, has prior experience as a special prosecutor.

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