Transcript for No evidence of witch hunt against Trump: DOJ inspector general
President trump has long claimed a deep state, that was he was spied on. Tonight, the inspector general report finally out, into the origins of the Russia investigation, and the report finding no anti-Trump bias, saying the launch was justified. Tonight here, we have one-on-one with the president's own hand-picked FBI director, Christopher WRAY, and we ask about claims of a deep state. And what the inspector general also found, some, quote, errors and omissions, when it ka into applying for surveillance. ABC's chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas leading us off tonight with the report and the one-on-one. Reporter: After years of president trump calling it a deep state, saying the FBI was anti-Trump when it launched an investigation into possible ties between his campaign and Russia, tonight, the long-awaited independent report, the justice department's inspector general revealing there was no evidence of a witch hunt. Determining the FBI had enough evidence pointing to "Either a federal crime or a threat to national security, or both" to justify the probe at the height of the election, and that the agents who made the final decision to launch the investigation were not influenced by political bias. The president has long said his campaign was illegally spied on, even suggesting former president Obama had wiretapped him. It was illegal spying, unprecedented spying. This was an attempted coup. I would say that president Obama had to know about it. Reporter: But the inspector general says FBI officials made serious errors and omissions in applying for surveillance warrants 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." They did not tell doj attorneys about information that may have weakened their case for surveillance. The president pounced. This was an overthrow of government. This was an attempted overthrow and a lot of people were in on it. Reporter: But tonight, the president's hand-picked FBI director, Christopher WRAY, saying there was no deep state. As far as you know, based upon the findings of the inspector general report, is the FBI -- was it part of some deep state? Well, I think that's the kind of label that's a disservice to the 37,000 men and women who work at the FBI. That's not a term I would ever use to describe our work force and I think it's an affront to them. Reporter: The president's defenders have accused FBI agents of conspiring against him, pointing to anti-Trump text messages. But the I.G. Report also found other agents exchanging pro-trump messages at the same time, and later, celebrating the 2016 election. Do you have any evidence that the FBI targeted the trump campaign unfairly? I don't. Reporter: But WRAY acknowledges mistakes were made. There are actions described in this report that I consider unacceptable and unrepresentative of who we are I am ordering 40, over 40 corrections, in a way that's robust and serious and we're determined to learn the lessons from this report and make sure the FBI emerges from this even better and stronger. Pierre Thomas with the one-on-one tonight. And he joins us live from outside the FBI headquarters. And Pierre, tonight, we know William Barr, in a move similar to what he's done in the past, he's speaking out against the findings of the independent investigation and siding with the president tonight. Reporter: David, tonight, Barr is blasting the Russia probe's origins, saying the justice department and the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. Presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that were insufficient to justify the steps taken. Barr's launched a separate investigation that is now criminal, but the FBI director telling me today he agrees that the I.g.'s findings that the launch was, in fact, legal. David? Pierre Thomas leading us off. And we know the inspector general will be before the senate judiciary committee on Wednesday, facing questions from both sides and we'll be there, too.
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