President Trump said Thursday that he “absolutely” believes the FBI spied on his campaign in 2016 and renewed his call for a criminal investigation of those responsible.
A day after Attorney General William P. Barr told lawmakers that there was spying on the Trump campaign, the president went a step further.
“There was absolutely spying into my campaign,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House. “In my opinion, there was illegal spying, unprecedented spying. And [it’s] something that should never be allowed to happen in our country again.”
He added, “You’re just lucky I happen to be the president. Because a lot of other presidents would have reacted much differently than I reacted.”
Mr. Barr told lawmakers Wednesday that he’s reviewing the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign, which looked for evidence of collusion with Russia. Mr. Barr called it “spying” but said he doesn’t know if there was a proper legal basis for it.
The president said of Mr. Barr’s assessment, “I think his answer was actually a very accurate one. … And we want to be open to that situation. Hard to believe it could have happened. But it did. There was spying in my campaign, and his answer was a very accurate one.”
The president called the FBI’s actions “dirty politics” in league with Democrats.
“This is actually treason,” Mr. Trump said. “This is a very bad thing that people have done. And I just hope that law enforcement takes it up, because if they don’t take it up they’re doing a great disservice to our country. The people that did something wrong were the other side, the dirty cops and a lot of problems that were cause.”
Yes, it appears that you do… https://t.co/EBaeLljU8r
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) April 11, 2019
In early 2017, Mr. Trump drew widespread condemnation and ridicule when he tweeted that he had just learned that former President Obama wiretapped his presidential campaign. While it’s not clear what Mr. Obama knew or when, the FBI did receive authorization in 2016 for wiretaps on a Trump campaign official.
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