According to reports, Barr has begun a multi-agency investigation into possible surveillance on the Trump campaign.
"The investigation had nothing to do with the [Steele] dossier, it frankly had nothing to do with the Trump campaign. I did not know about it", he said before repeating his usual criticism of the probe and special counsel Robert Mueller.
"There is a substantial investigation, which as I understand it, is nearing completion, being conducted by the Justice Department Inspector General", Clapper said.
Last week, FBI Director Wray said he had personally seen no evidence of improper surveillance and that he was cooperating with Barr to "get to the bottom of an understanding of what the circumstances surrounding the initiation of that investigation were at the department and the FBI back in 2016".
During an interview with CNN's John Berman, Clapper was asked if the investigation is "warranted" now that the attorney general has assigned U.S. Attorney John Durham for the job.
When asked in his congressional testimony last week about Barr's use of the term "spying", Wray answered that it was not a term he would use.
Trump declined to answer whether he still has confidence in Wray's leadership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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Beijing announced shortly after that it was hitting more than 5,000 categories of USA products with tariffs of five to 10 percent. Beijing is running out of US imports for penalties due to the lopsided trade balance between the world's two largest economies.
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Congressional Republicans have also said they'll look into how the investigation began and whether there are any legal concerns. In addition to conducting the inquiry, Durham will continue to serve as the chief federal prosecutor in CT .
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The protests have so far given them the only leverage they have against the military council and they are not about to let it go. Demonstrators converged on the military complex last month seeking the army's help in ousting him.
Trump, asked outside the White House on Tuesday if he had ordered Barr to look into the matter, told reporters, "No I didn't ask him to do that".
In a speech in Baltimore Monday evening, former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein said he believed the investigation "was justified, and closing it was not an option".
One of them said Huber has been focused mostly on matters related to 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Trump selected him to be the USA attorney in CT, and he was confirmed by the Senate in 2018. The report also drew no conclusion on whether Trump illegally tried to impede the Mueller probe.
Durham was named by Barr several weeks ago, said the source, who confirmed it to Reuters anonymously because the Justice Department has not made a public announcement.
Durham also ran a task force looking into allegedly corrupt dealings between law enforcement officials in Boston and James "Whitey" Bulger, a now-deceased crime gang leader.