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WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr said he still believes the FBI may have operated out of "bad faith" when it investigated whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and he contends the FBI acted improperly by continuing the investigation after Donald Trump took office.
In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Barr essentially dismissed the findings of the Justice Department's inspector general that there was no evidence of political bias in the launching of the Russia probe, saying that his hand-picked prosecutor, John Durham, will have the last word on the matter.
Nation - Head - Years - Press - Barr
"I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press," Barr said. "I think there were gross abuses…and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI."
"I think that leaves open the possibility that there was bad faith."
Barr - Criticism - FBI - Conduct - Russia
Barr's blistering criticism of the FBI's conduct in the Russia investigation, which went well beyond the errors outlined in the inspector general report, is bound to stoke further controversy about whether the attorney general is acting in good faith, or as a political hatchet man for President Trump.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz, after reviewing a million documents and interviewing 100 people, concluded that he "did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open" the investigations into Trump campaign aides.
Barr - Horowitz - Inspector - General - FBI
But Barr argued that Horowitz didn't look very hard, and that the inspector general accepted the FBI's explanations at face value.
"All he said was, people gave me an explanation and I didn't find anything to contradict it…he hasn't decided the issue of improper motive," Barr said. "I think we have to wait until the full investigation is done."
Barr - Assertion - Trump - Campaign
Barr said he stood by his assertion that the Trump campaign...
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