Clapper: We Shouldn't Lose Sight of Why Russian Probe Started

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Barr has appointed a US attorney to examine the origins of the Russian Federation investigation and determine if intelligence collection involving the Trump campaign was “lawful and appropriate. FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before a Senate panel last week that he wasn't aware of any improper spying, a comment Trump said he found "ridiculous".

In addition to conducting the inquiry, Durham will continue to serve as the chief federal prosecutor in CT.

President Trump recently referred to the Russian Federation investigation as one of the biggest hoaxes in USA history.

The New York Times and Associated Press both reported Monday evening that Barr had tapped Durham to "determine if intelligence collection involving the Trump campaign was 'lawful and appropriate'".

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

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"There is a substantial investigation, which as I understand it, is nearing completion, being conducted by the Justice Department Inspector General", Clapper said.

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.

Since the early days of his presidency, Trump, along with several of his Republican allies in Congress, has raised suspicions of a "deep state" conspiracy to undermine his electoral victory, and made open calls for the prosecution of intelligence officials involved in the early stages of the Russian Federation investigation.

Trump declined to answer whether he still has confidence in Wray's leadership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He has a history of performing special investigations - in 2008 he was assigned by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey to conduct a probe of the Central Intelligence Agency over the destruction of videotapes that showed terrorism suspects being tortured. "But I always need to base my opinions on credible evidence".

Trump selected him to be the US attorney in CT, and he was confirmed by the Senate in 2018. Prior to that, he had been appointed by Former Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno to probe allegations of law-enforcement corruption in Boston.

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