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Trump orders intel agencies to cooperate in campaign 'spying' probe

The move comes with Trump under increasing pressure from probes led by Democratic lawmakers in Congress, some of whom are pushing for his impeachment.

US President Donald Trump. Picture: AFP.

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump has ordered the intelligence community to "fully cooperate" with an investigation into what he has termed "spying" on his 2016 election campaign.

The move comes with Trump under increasing pressure from probes led by Democratic lawmakers in Congress, some of whom are pushing for his impeachment.

According to Trump, court-approved surveillance of his campaign's links to Russians amounted to "spying." He has even called the probe treason and indicated he would like to see criminal charges brought against his investigators.

"President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the attorney general's investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 presidential election," press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

Attorney General Bill Barr is conducting a review of whether an FBI counterintelligence investigation into Trump's campaign, which eventually became Special Counsel Robert Mueller's collusion and obstruction probe, was justified.

Barr -- who has drawn fire for his concerted efforts to downplay the Mueller report's damning allegations against Trump -- has "full and complete authority" to declassify relevant information, Sanders said.

Barr testified to the US Senate in April that he believed Trump's campaign was spied on, telling the Appropriations Committee that: "Spying on a political campaign is a big deal."

"I think spying did occur. The question is, was it was adequately predicated? I'm not saying it wasn't," Barr said.

Mueller's full report on Russian election meddling, while not finding criminal behavior, detailed a number of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016, and instances of the president apparently trying to frustrate the probe.

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