CBS, ABC criticize Trump, Barr for condemning FBI’s “gross abuses” in Russia investigation

CBS, ABC criticize Trump, Barr for condemning FBI’s “gross abuses” in Russia investigation

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ABC and CBS News condemned President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr for their criticism of how the FBI handled its Trump-Russia probe after the Justice Department Inspector General's (IG) report revealed numerous errors and missteps in the agency's acquisition of warrants to spy on a Trump campaign aide.

The coverage: “Tonight, in an extraordinary set of developments, the President and his attorney general took aim at the FBI director,” said CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell. “Now, this comes a day after the department's watchdog concluded the FBI was justified in opening an investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign.”

White House correspondent Ben Tracy followed up with the same sentiment, saying during the video portion of the segment, “Attorney General William Barr is once again siding with President Trump, offering a scathing critique today of the FBI’s investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign.”

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“Barr is contradicting his own inspector general, who found the FBI acted legitimately and with no political bias in launching the probe into the Trump campaign's potential ties with Russia," Tracy said. He did acknowledge the report found the FBI "made significant mistakes in its warrant applications for wiretap surveillance of the campaign.”

“Barr, who also staunchly defended President Trump after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, is now essentially echoing the President's view that it's all been a hoax and a witch hunt,” he added.

Over at ABC, World News Tonight anchor David Muir defended the IG report, asserting it refuted Trump's claims about the existence of an anti-Trump "deep state" but erroneously said there was "no spying" when the report itself shows that the FBI had sent wiretapped individuals to talk to Trump campaign aides, according to NewsBusters.

ABC Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl pointed out that the criticism of the FBI came on the same day Trump welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the White House.

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But veteran NBC correspondent Pete Williams, who served in the George W. Bush administration, allowed Barr to criticize the "gross abuses" by the FBI during a recent interview. "I think a lot of people will hear what you're saying here and think, 'well, that's just Bill Barr defending Trump.' Your concern about the FBI's investigation is what? Civil libertarian?" Williams asked.

"I think our nation was turned on its head for three years. I think based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by an irresponsible press, and I think that there were gross abuses of FISA and inexplicable behavior that isn't tolerable in the FBI," Barr responded.

IG Michael Horowitz's 434-page report, released Monday, concluded that the FBI's investigation into Russian election meddling was justified, but did find 17 significant errors or omissions in several applications for warrants to surveil ex-Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

You can watch Barr's NBC News interview in its entirety here

Check out Ken LaCorte’s Youtube channel and hear for yourself how the mainstream press is spinning you today!

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