Attorney general says 'I think spying did occur' on Trump's campaign


Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday that he expects to release a redacted version of the special counsel's Trump-Russia investigation report "within a week" as he defended his handling of the document.

Pennsylvania congressman Matt Cartwright said during a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing Tuesday, where Barr was testifying, that millions would lose their health insurance if a challenge to the Affordable Care Act won its case in Texas.

His appearance came as President Putin made his first public comments on the... Like members of the House on Tuesday, senators are expected to be more interested in the almost 400-page document than the budget details.

The redactions will be color-coded and accompanied by notes explaining the decision to withhold information, he said.

Barr released a summary of the report last month that indicated Mueller found nothing to prove that the Trump camp had colluded with Russian Federation in the 2016 presidential campaign.

"I'm operating under a regulation that was put together during the Clinton administration and does not provide for the publication of the report, but I'm relying on my own discretion to make as much public as I can", he said.

On his program Tuesday, Limbaugh said Democrats are being "driven mad", and they can not accept that there is no Trump-Russia collusion nor a conspiracy at the Justice Department to cover it up.

Mr Barr's opening remarks focused on funding requests for immigration enforcement and the fights against violent crime and opioid addiction, not mentioning the special counsel's report at all. When answering questions about the Mueller report, Barr took on a quiet, droning tone, playing the role of an unremarkable bureaucrat whose only interest is in following the law and who has no particular investment in the outcome.

Barr said "the letter speaks for itself" and revealed that he gave Mueller an opportunity to review the letter, but he declined.

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Though Barr said at his January confirmation hearing that he didn't believe Mueller would be involved in a witch hunt, he struck a different tone Wednesday and said it "depends on where you're sitting".

"I felt I should state bottom-line conclusions, and I tried to use special counsel Mueller's own language in doing that", he said. He said he's open to eventually releasing some of the redacted material after consulting with congressional leaders, but he drew a line at releasing grand jury material, which would require court approval.

Attorney General William Barr declared Wednesday he thinks "spying did occur" against Donald Trump's presidential campaign, suggesting the origins of the Russian Federation investigation may have been mishandled in remarks that aligned him with the president at a time when Barr's independence is under scrutiny.

Barr's statement Wednesday that he expected to release a redacted version of Mueller's almost 400-page report next week marked a slight change from the estimate he gave Tuesday, when he said the release would be within a week.

The Democrats are demanding that they see the full report and all its underlying evidence, though Trump and his Republican allies are pushing back.

Barr will testify today before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Barr said in the summary released last month that Mueller didn't find a criminal conspiracy between the campaign and the Kremlin.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of NY tweeted that Barr's comments "directly contradict" what the Justice Department previously has said, and intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California said Barr's testimony surely pleases Trump but "also strikes another destructive blow to our democratic institutions".