FBI Director Christopher Wray broke with Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday, denying the bureau spied on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.
Wray contradicted congressional testimony last month in which Barr said he thinks "spying did occur" on the campaign.
"That's not the term I would use," Wray told the Senate Appropriations Committee under questioning from Senator Jeanne Shaheen. "I believe that the FBI is engaged in investigative activity, and part of investigative activity includes surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes, and to me the key question is making sure that it is done by the book."
Asked directly by Shaheen if he has any evidence to support allegations the bureau acted illegally in its investigation, Wray said he does not.
The Justice Department did not immediately return Anadolu Agency's request for comment.
Trump claimed federal investigators spied on his campaign, citing investigations that were conducted on at least one advisor to his campaign.
The FBI received Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant in 2016 to surveil Carter Page, who was advising the campaign on foreign policy matters, on suspicions he was working with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.
Trump and his partisan allies have cited the matter as alleged evidence the bureau was covertly spying, claiming the court order was granted under a flimsy pretext.
The Justice Department's inspector general is currently reviewing the process that led to the granting of the FISA warrants.
That process is expected to be completed this month or June, according to Barr.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.