Source says Barr is launching new look at origins of Russian Federation probe

AP source Barr opens a second investigation of Russia probe

"I did not know about it", he said before repeating his usual criticism of the probe and special counsel Robert Mueller.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper downplayed reports that Attorney General William Barr is taking the first steps to carry out a probe into how the 2016 Russian investigation got started by assigning US Attorney John Durham for the job.

"I didn't know, but I think it's a great thing that he did it", Trump told reporters on Tuesday.

President Trump criticized FBI Director Christopher A. Wray on Tuesday, saying he gave a "ridiculous answer" during congressional testimony last week when he declined to characterize an FBI investigation of Trump campaign advisers in 2016 as "spying".

Records of the FBI's investigation and sources familiar with the matter say that, while the dossier played a role, it did not prompt the FBI to open the inquiry, which was handed off in May 2017 to Mueller, who completed his probe in March.

"Well, I didn't understand his answer because I thought the attorney general answered it perfectly", Trump said.

Trump said that he was not aware of Barr's decision beforehand.

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According to the document, the investigation did not find any evidence of collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign team.

The review will also examine whether a dossier that included salacious accusations against Trump was fabricated by the Russian government to dupe US intelligence agencies and the FBI, Barr has said.

He also urged lawmakers to wait for the findings from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is expected to issue a report in a month or two about the origins of the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign, and the law enforcement tools that were used, including Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court orders.

In a speech in Baltimore Monday evening, former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein said he believed the investigation "was justified, and closing it was not an option".

Trump selected him to be the USA attorney in CT, and he was confirmed by the Senate in 2018.

With the appointment, Barr is addressing a rallying cry of President Donald Trump and his supporters, who have accused the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation of unlawfully spying on his campaign.

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