Trump primary challenger: 'It's not spying' to investigate Trump campaign

Trump primary challenger: 'It's not spying' to investigate Trump campaign
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Former Massachusetts Gov. William WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldBill Weld is the best possible Trump challenger Mark Sanford debates cardboard cutout of Trump to protest South Carolina canceling its GOP primary Overnight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks MORE (R) argued Wednesday that it wasn't "spying" when the FBI investigated the Trump campaign in 2016, breaking with Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrArizona Democratic Party will hold vote to censure Sinema Democrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Feehery: Impeachment fever bad for Democratic governing vision MORE.

"The thing a couple weeks ago where [Barr] said if the FBI opens an investigation on a Trump organization, that’s 'spying.' That’s not spying," Weld, who has launched a 2020 primary challenge against President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE, said during an interview on CNN's "New Day."

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"When an agency opens an investigation, it may be a lot of things, it may be bad news for the target. But it’s not spying. It’s just opening an investigation," he added.

Barr said during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing last week that he believed the Trump campaign was spied on in 2016 and added that he needed to "explore" the issue.

“I think spying did occur,” Barr said. “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated, and I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that.”

He later attempted to clarify his statement before lawmakers, saying he was concerned “improper surveillance” may have occurred in 2016 and he was "looking into it."

Trump has long called for a probe into the origins of the investigation of his 2016 campaign and has since seized on Barr's remarks, which Democrats have called for the attorney general to walk back.

"There was absolutely spying into my campaign," Trump told reporters last week. "I’ll go a step further. In my opinion it was illegal spying, unprecedented spying and something that should never be allowed to happen in our country again."