Trump reacts to report on Russia probe, FBI director speaks out

The official watchdog report on the origins of the Russia investigation found that, despite failures, the FBI was justified in opening its probe into the Trump campaign.
3:52 | 12/10/19

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Transcript for Trump reacts to report on Russia probe, FBI director speaks out
All right, Cecilia, thank you. The president is also reacting to that watchdog report on the origins of the Russia investigation and chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas has details for us. Good morning, Pierre. Reporter: Good morning. The report found the Russia investigation was launched legally. No evidence of a political coup against president trump but the justice department watchdog did find serious failures by the FBI, the FBI director sitting down with us responding to it all. The justice department inspector general revealing the FBI had enough evidence pointing to either a federal crime or threat to national security or both to justify launching the Russia probe at the height of the presidential election in 2016. The launch apparently not influenced by political bias. This despite years of the president and his allies calling the investigation a witch-hunt. It was illegal. An attempted coup. President Obama had to know about it. Reporter: On a more narrow front the inspector general also issued this damning assessment found officials made serious errors and articles of impeachment and omissions to monitor the communications of a trump campaign associate Carter page. Adding agents failed to meet the basic obligation to ensure the applications were scrupulously accurate. Agents did not tell doj attorneys about information that may have weakened their case for surveillance. In an exclusive interview with ABC news, FBI director Christopher WRAY saying extensive reforms are under way to address the I.g.'s concerns. There are actions described in this report that I consider unacceptable and unrepresentative of who we are. Reporter: But the president pounced. This was an overthrow of government. This was an attempted overthrow and a lot of people were in on Reporter: This morning the attorney general William Barr in a blistering statement publicly challenging the report's findings writing, the justice department began and intrusive investigation of a U.S. Presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that were insufficient to justify the steps taken. Barr's position likely to please the president's allies who believe he has been the victim of the so-called deep state. Charges rejected by the FBI director. Based on the findings in the inspector general report is the FBI, was it part of some deep state. I think that's the kind of label that is a disservice to the 37,000 men and women who work at the FBI. That's not a term I would ever So the FBI did not spy on the trump campaign? Well, that's not a term at the FBI we use to describe our work. Do you have any evidence that the FBI targeted the trump campaign unfairly? I don't. Reporter: WRAY says he respects Barr but the two men have a different point of view on the launch of the probe and WRAY warned the Russians had not only aggressively attacked the 2016 election. They're still at it. The biggest threat to the 2020 election. Pierre, thanks very much. Let's bring in our chief legal analyst Dan Abrams. He called this a coup, illegal spying and said president Obama knew. All completely debunked by the report. Four times the inspector general in the report asked the question, was this motivated based on politics? And the answer again and again was no on everything from the start of the investigation to the use of undercover sources to even the applications for the FISA warrants. None of it, the inspector general found, was based on politics. But there were serious mistakes made with regard to the FISA application but it's important to separate out the two, right? You've got the beginning 69 investigation which is the most important question which is they're investigating someone associated with the trump campaign. And on that one, the ig is saying it was valid for them based on what they had and the low standard that existed to begin the investigation. It was part two which was the FISA application of Carter page who no longer worked on the campaign that they were much more critical of.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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