Valerie Plame: Surveillance on Trump campaign not 'spying'

Former CIA operative and current congressional candidate Valerie Plame said Monday that FBI surveillance of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' MORE's 2016 campaign was not spying.

"I absolutely do not [believe spying occurred]. These are professionals in our intelligence community, both in the Federal Bureau of Investigation and in the CIA. I have to believe that what happened was that there was real cause. And the bar is extremely high to collect information, particularly on a U.S. citizen," Plame, a Democrat running for a House seat in New Mexico, said on CNN's "New Day."

"So I don't know all the details of what led to that, but I think Attorney General Barr's rather casual assessment that the FBI spied on candidate Trump is a little too loose with the facts," she continued. 

During congressional testimony last month, Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Pentagon to place new restrictions, monitoring on foreign military students Parnas: Environment around Trump 'like a cult' MORE called the FBI’s surveillance of members of Trump's 2016 campaign "spying." Trump has also used the term.

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The Justice Department's inspector general is now reviewing whether the FBI followed correct procedures in applying for a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Republicans have said the FBI improperly relied on details from the dossier compiled by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele when applying for the warrant.

The surveillance activity was part of the early investigation into Russian election interference that eventually spawned special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE's probe into potential coordination between Trump's campaign and Moscow.

Mueller ultimately did not find evidence of collusion.

Plame's cover as CIA operative was blown by George W. Bush administration officials in a widely publicized scandal in the run-up to the Iraq War.