President Trump ordered the intelligence community to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr's investigation into surveillance activities surrounding Mr. Trump's 2016 campaign, according to a memo from the White House.
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"Fox News reported on Monday that Attorney General Bill Barr had assigned John Durham, the USA attorney in CT, to conduct the inquiry into alleged misconduct and alleged improper government surveillance on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, as well as whether Democrats were the ones who improperly colluded with foreign actors", reports Fox News.
The order is a change for Mr. Trump, who a year ago dropped a plan to release documents related to the Russian Federation investigation amid concerns from Justice Department officials who said making them public could damage national security. The White House had eagerly encouraged Republicans on the House intelligence committee to disclose that classified information, believing it could help undermine the Russian Federation investigation.
"We'll see what happens with Iran", President Trump said of a potential additional deployment Friday morning.
Former intelligence officials and Democratic lawmakers criticized Trump's move, which marked an escalation in his efforts to "investigate the investigators" as he works to undermine the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.
Jeremy Bash, a former chief of staff at the Central Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration, warned that, with his directive, Trump was entering "dangerous territory".
Republican House member Mark Meadows tweeted on Thursday that "Americans are going to learn the truth about what occurred at their Justice Department".
The attorney general has previously told Congress that he believes Mr Trump's presidential campaign was "spied" on and assigned a federal prosecutor to the case.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee leads one of the ongoing congressional investigations of Trump, called the action "un-American".
FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers in April that "spying" is "not the term I would use", and under questioning, also said he didn't think he had "any evidence" that the FBI had conducted any illegal surveillance into campaigns or individuals associated with campaigns.
Included in the memo were the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the CIA.