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President Donald Trump said Friday morning that his 2016 presidential campaign was “conclusively spied on.”
“Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics,” the president tweeted. Trump also insinuated that the court-ordered FBI surveillance of his campaign was treason and could result in “long jail sentences” for those responsible.
“A really bad situation,”Trump wrote. “TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!”
My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2019
Trump’s tweet came amid Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into FBI surveillance during the 2016 election cycle.
Barr told Fox News in an interview that was set to air Friday that he’s attempting to determine whether government officials “abused their power” by investigating alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The attorney general explained that he was not satisfied with the answers he’s received thus far regarding the FBI’s investigation.
“I’ve been trying to get answers to the questions and I’ve found that a lot of the answers have been inadequate and some of the explanations I’ve gotten don’t hang together, in a sense I have more questions today than when I first started,” Barr told host “America’s Newsroom” host Bill Hemmer.
When asked why getting to the bottom of what happened matters, Barr said it was important for the American people to know “what the government was doing during that period.”
“If we’re worried about foreign influence, for the very same reason we should be worried about whether government officials abuse their power and put their thumb on the scale,” Barr added.
“I’m not saying that happened but it’s something we have to look at.”
Barr has previously said he thinks “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign, according to the Washington Examiner.
The FBI was trying to see if there were links between the Trump campaign and Russia, though special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe concluded there was no collusion.
On Monday, news broke that Barr had appointed a John Durham, a U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to investigate “the origins of the Russia investigation,” according to The New York Times.
Trump praised Barr’s decision to appoint Durham, but said he did not ask him to do so.
“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 on Tuesday, according to The Hill.
“I am so proud of our attorney general that he is looking into it,” he added. Conservatives also applauded the move.
“I view this as something we’ve been asking for and that the attorney general is now going to do it,” GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio told The Hill.