AP NEWS

Jeff Sessions backs AG Barr on ‘spying’ claim

May 8, 2019

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday that his successor was within bounds to call the FBI’s surveillance of Trump campaign figures “spying.”

“I think spying is a perfectly good word,” Mr. Sessions said at a Las Vegas event aired on MSNBC.

New Attorney General William P. Barr ignited a firestorm with his use of the word to describe the Obama administration’s attempts to pry into the activities of several of Mr. Trump’s campaign advisors, including the use of a surveillance warrant and informants, over fears the campaign was coordinating with Russia.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, appearing with Mr. Sessions, also backed Mr. Barr, saying there was spying the question is whether it was legally predicated or not.

“I think what needs to be determined here is not the argument over the word, the modifier of the word,” Mr. Christie said.

Both men also backed Mr. Barr’s resistance to House Democrats’ sweeping subpoena for the special counsel’s Russia report, saying he was right under the law to resist demands for secret grand jury information.