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 TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day 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 BarrBill BarrMeadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report Why it's time for conservatives to accept the 2020 election results and move on Bannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ MORE called the FBI’s surveillance of members of Trump's 2016 campaign "spying." Trump has also used the term.

ADVERTISEMENT
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) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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.