Watch CBSN Live

Trump orders U.S. intelligence to assist in surveillance investigation around 2016 campaign

Trump gives Barr new power over Russia probe
Trump gives Barr new power over Russia probe 02:26

President Trump ordered the intelligence community to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr's investigation into surveillance activities surrounding Mr. Trump's 2016 campaign, according to a memo from the White House. The memo also said Barr has been "delegated full and complete authority to declassify information" related to the investigation.

"Today's action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement. 

In congressional testimony last month, Barr said he believes "spying did occur during the campaign," a belief shared by Mr. Trump. "I just want to satisfy myself that there were no abuse of law enforcement or intelligence powers," Barr told a Senate panel. 

Barr has asked U.S. attorney in Connecticut, John Durham, to review the origins of the Russia investigation,  a source familiar with the assignment confirmed to CBS News last month. 

Barr told the Senate panel he plans to start an investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation.

"I am going to be reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016," Barr said. "And a lot of this has already been investigated and a substantial portion of it has been investigated and is being investigated by the office of (inspector general). But one of the things that I want to do is pull together all of the information from the various investigations that have gone on including on the Hill and in the (Justice) Department and see if there are any remaining questions [need] to be addressed."  

FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers in April that "spying" is "not the term I would use," and under questioning, also said he didn't think he had "any evidence" that the FBI had conducted any illegal surveillance into campaigns or individuals associated with campaigns.  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.