CNN: Barr Was ‘Intentional’ With ‘Spying’ Comment, Thought It Was Reasonable

Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America

Attorney General William Barr was “intentional” when he said Wednesday that he believed “spying” had occurred against the 2016 Trump campaign, even though he later admitted he had no evidence for the claim, CNN’s Laura Jarrett reported on air Thursday, citing “a person familiar with Barr’s thinking,” and “talks that Barr is having with his advisers.”

“This was not a gaffe,” Jarrett reported on-air, citing her source. “He knows what he’s saying, he is quite savvy. He’s very well aware of his words and how they have meaning. So this was intentional, he meant what he said.”

At the same time, Jarrett reported, “he doesn’t view the word ‘spying’ in a derogatory sense. He actually thinks that it’s a perfectly reasonable thing if it’s adequately predicated.”

“And so that’s what he was trying to say when he further explained at the hearing yesterday that what he’s really worried about is unauthorized surveillance.”

While the attorney general said at first during the hearing that “I did think spying did occur” — a gift for conspiratorially minded Trump supporters — he later said that he had “no specific evidence” for the claim.

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