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Barr: I’m not going to back off using the word ‘spying’

Attorney General Barr, during his testimony on Wednesday, was accused of mocking Democrats and not taking their questions seriously.

One of the more priceless moments for conservatives that has really irked liberals and Democrats is when Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) tried to convince Barr that “spying” was a dirty word and Barr schooled him on his personal usage of the word.

Understanding Barr

To understand and appreciate William Barr’s answer, it helps to know some of his background.

Barr spent the formative years of his career working for the CIA, having been employed by the agency from 1973 to 1977.

After spending some time clerking for a judge on the DC Court of Appeals, he served in Ronald Reagan’s administration on the domestic policy staff.

When George H.W. Bush was elected to office, he would serve as the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, the U.S. Deputy Attorney General, and finally take over as Attorney General in November 1991.

As such, “spying” is a term that came naturally for Barr and apparently is a word that he continues to use when discussing surveillance.

Not Backing Down

Senator Whitehouse tried to drill this point home on Barr during his time, saying it is unprecedented for “the office” to use such a term for approved surveillance.

Barr stated, “I’m not going to abjure of the word ‘spying.’

“My first job was in the CIA.

“I don’t think the word ‘spying’ has any pejorative connotation at all.

“I think spying is a good English word that, in fact, doesn’t have synonyms because it is the broadest word incorporating really all forms of covert intelligence collection, so I’m not going to back off the word ‘spying.’

“Frankly, we went back and looked at press usage and up until all the faux outrage a couple of weeks ago, it’s commonly used in the press to refer to authorized activities.”

Whitehouse was clearly frustrate by that last dig and snorted out, “It’s not commonly used by the Department.”

Barr, with a priceless sneer on his face, stated, “It’s commonly used by me.”

There was a collective standing ovation for Barr in conservative circles as this was clearly a win for Barr as he continues to expose the pettiness of the Democrat party.

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