Donald Trump Praises Bill Barr for Investigating Russia 'Hoax' Origin

Wray testifies during a hearing on Capitol Hill

President Trump stops to speak to members of the media as he walks to Marine One to depart from the South Lawn at the White House in March.

The attorney-general has been accused of pandering to repeated claims by Mr Trump that his predecessor had a spy illegally placed into his campaign and that the Mueller investigation was politically motivated.

The appointment of John Durham, the U.S. attorney for CT, launches the third counter investigation after the conclusion of the 22-month Mueller inquiry, which found no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow to influence the 2016 election.

"I think you're seeing the justice department go on offense to say 'let's clean up the bad apples, '" Scalise told host Bill Hemmer. "I didn't know it, but I think it's a great thing that he did it".

Barr has stated previously that he believes there was "spying" on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the Trump campaign.

In his testimony, Wray tried to make clear that although he did not use the term "spying" with regard to the Trump investigation, he was not picking a fight with those who do.

"I am so proud of our attorney general that he is looking into it", Trump said.

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The inquiry, which will focus on whether the government's methods to collect intelligence relating to the Trump campaign were lawful and appropriate, is separate from an investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general. 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".

The review will also examine whether a dossier that included salacious accusations against Trump was fabricated by the Russian government to dupe USA intelligence agencies and the FBI, Barr has said.

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

A source familiar with the matter confirmed to ABC News Tuesday that CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats are also cooperating with Barr's investigation.

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions had appointed another US attorney, John Huber, in March 2018 to review aspects of the Russian Federation investigation, following grievances from Republican lawmakers.

Durham is a career prosecutor who was nominated for his post as USA attorney in CT by Trump.

Huber is expected to complete his review of the Clinton matters in the coming weeks and has handed off everything related to spying on the Trump campaign to Durham, the person said.

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