MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace: Does Barr’s Use of ‘Spying’ Signal He’s ‘Watched Too Much Sean Hannity’?
During an interview with former CIA Director John Brennan, MSNBC host Nicole Wallace asked why Attorney General William Barr described the FBI’s surveillance of the Trump campaign as “spying” and suggested the top law enforcement official may have “watched too much Sean Hannity.”
“Who uses the word spying to discuss authorized lawful surveillance on a counter-intelligence probe, other than Sean Hannity?” Wallace asked Brennan — riffing on the top Fox News host’s ardently pro-Donald Trump coverage.
Brennan replied by saying Barr is “trying to imply and to really indicate there was a misuse of authorities.”
“That was not the case. Does CIA spy? Yes. Do we spy against our foreign adversaries? Yes. Do we spy against domestic individuals? No, we do not,” he continued. “When the Russians were trying to interfere in that election and change the outcome of it in their favor, we — CIA and FBI — worked very collaboratively so we could have the ability to see what the Russians were doing and who they were working with.”
“When William Barr said spying, it clearly indicated there was something inappropriate if not illegal,” Brennan added. “Nobody used the term spying when they’re referring to a legitimate, predicated, authorized investigative action on the behalf of the FBI.”
Wallace continued her questioning by repeating her mockery of Hannity:
“Why do you think he uses it? Is it taunting? Does it signal to the intelligence community that he’s coming for you? Does it signal he’s watched too much Sean Hannity? What does that word mean inside the intelligence community?”
Brennan, who left his post at the CIA at the beginning of 2017, replied by suggesting the attorney general was “playing to” the president by “trying to say things and characterize things in a manner” that was consistent and “very supportive” of Trump.
Trump recently endorsed Barr’s characterization, saying that it is “hard to believe” spying occurred during the 2016 campaign “but it did.”
“There was spying on my campaign and [Barr’s] answer was a very accurate one,” the president added.
Watch above, via MSNBC.
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