Former independent counsel Ken Starr weighed in Friday on a new report that alleges an FBI informant probed former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.
"I think there is a lot that is potentially troubling, especially for the FBI to be surveilling, spying, whatever term you want to use, on a presidential political campaign. Was that authorized at the highest levels of the FBI? Did the FBI leadership consult with the department of justice?" Starr said on "Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulkner." "Was there consideration of actually notifying the campaign? There were a lot of questions that need to be answered."
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According to a report Thursday, an informant working for U.S. intelligence posed as a Cambridge University research assistant in September 2016 to try to probe Papadopoulos, then a Trump foreign policy adviser, on the campaign's possible ties to Russia.
And, Papadopoulos told Fox News on Thursday, the informant tried to "seduce" him as part of the "bizarre" episode.
The New York Times report cited individuals familiar with the Justice Department's ongoing Inspector General (IG) review of the intelligence community's actions in the run-up to Donald Trump's election as president. Attorney General William Barr received harsh partisan blowback for suggesting that "spying did occur" during the presidential race, but doubled down at a testy Senate hearing on Wednesday.
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Starr also weighed in on the dispute over "spying" versus "authorized surveillance" saying they were one in the same.
Barr is "an alumnus of the CIA. So, to him spying by any other name is still spying," Starr said. "It’s still spying. Think of a person who is being surveilled or spied upon. He or she has no idea what's going on."
Fox News' Gregg Re and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.