ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Democratic Senator Mark Warner said Attorney General William Barr acted like a 'political sycophant' to President Trump when he testified on Wednesday and said he would look into whether U.S. agencies illegally spied on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.
"I think his performance the other day when he basically suggested that somehow the FBI or the Justice Department might be spying was either came from willful ignorance or a fundamental lack of understanding about why a counterintelligence investigation had to be started when we had as much evidence of Russian interference in our elections in 2016 as we had," Warner told Reuters on Capitol Hill.
"I can only have been extraordinarily disappointed with it.
Barr at Wednesday's hearing said: "I think spying did occur... But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I am not suggesting that it wasn't adequately predicated.
... I am not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it is important to look at that.
And I am not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called on Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday to retract his statement that U.S. agencies spied on President Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
"AG Barr admitted he had no evidence to support his claim that spying on the Trump campaign "did occur,'" Schumer said in a Twitter post.
"AG Barr must retract his statement immediately or produce specific evidence to back it up.
Perpetuating conspiracy theories is beneath the office of the Attorney General." "I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal - it's a big deal."