Attorney General Barr Investigates Origins of Russia Probe
You might know ADP as the biggest name payroll, but that's just the beginning because ADP is transforming the way, great work gets done with HR talent time benefits and payroll informed by data and designed for people, that's ADP always designing for people. Attorney general William bar is looking into the origins of the investigation into Russia, and he says the findings could lead to rule changes for investigations of political campaigns. What attorney general bar seems to be saying is that he's not only looking at what the FBI did he say. He's looking at investigative activity that happened before that July two thousand sixteen opening of the FBI investigation. Plus, the US reaches a deal with Canada and Mexico over steel, and aluminum tariffs and delays. The decision on auto tariffs, burn another six months. This is what's news from the Wall Street Journal. I'm Anne Marie for totally in New York. Before we get to our story on Torney general bars investigation. Let's catch up on tariffs. The Trump administration said Friday that it had reached a deal with Canada and Mexico to drop tariffs imposed on steel, and aluminum imports Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had indicated earlier in the week that the is were close to reaching a deal. Those tariffs were a major sticking point to finalizing new trade pact known as US MCA between the three countries the agreement now needs to be approved by the legislatures of each country and another headline on tariffs, Friday as the White House announced it would delay a decision on whether to impose tariffs on automobiles and auto parts imports by one hundred eighty days. The Wall Street Journal's Josh zoom. Brune says the administration has had a full plate when it comes to trade issues seems like part of the motivation, here is simply to keep this issue of car tariffs. They're keeping it alive. They still have the option to do car terrif- in the future. But for now they're going to set that aside for six months, and it's going to allow them to focus on some. Oh, these other trade issues on their table. The Commerce Department has found US auto research and development are vital to national security giving the president broad authority to impose tariffs on auto imports. We've never seen anything on the magnitude of global car tariffs. I mean, this would really in some ways, be the big one man show. It's rattled the industry in a really remarkable way. I mean, the US in foreign carmakers don't necessarily agree on much. I mean they are fierce competitors, but the US companies Japanese companies, the German companies, they are completely United in opposition to this proposal to do these tariffs, the deadline on whether to impose the tariffs had been set for Saturday before Friday's decision to delay and trade disputes, or taking a toll on machinery-maker, dear the company has lowered its profit and sales got it says demand for its tractors and planters falls as we reported in the morning edition of what's news. Farmers are struggling as the trade dispute between the US and China continues with. China buying fewer US farm products and retaliating with tariffs prices for soybean dairy, pork, and other products have been declining. The Trump administration has promised aid, but the Wall Street Journal reports that farmers are afraid it will fall short of their needs. You might know ADP is the biggest name in payroll. But that's just the beginning because ADP is transforming the way great work gets done with HR talent time benefits and payroll informed by data and designed for people, that's ADP always designing for people. Attorney general William bar in El Salvador, this week is looking into how an investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia began in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he said, quote, government power was used to spy on American citizens. Bars investigation is focusing on information, gathered by the FBI, and he says the results could lead to changes in the rules for intelligence investigations of political campaigns. Joining me now from Washington. With more details is Wall Street Journal reporter arena, Viswanathan, a Renault bar has been using strong language here, particularly the term spying. What do we know about the impetus for this investigation into the Russia investigation? What are bars concerns? Right. So he has been using very strong language in a way that somewhat mimics the language President Trump in some congressional Republican allies of his have also been using to talk about what happened in the early stages of the. Investigation. We know that some of Mr. Trump's allies have raised a lot of concerns about the surveillance used against a former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor Carter page, which was a FIFA warrant, which is only granted to the FBI to monitor the communications of a person who suspected of being a foreign agent. So there's a very high bar there, but that is one thing that people have raised concerns about which seemed seems to be part of what the attorney general is talking about. But he's also talking about a broader range of investigative conduct, and it's not clear at this point, because he's not explaining to us in any fuller detail. Exactly what it is that he seemed that he thinks is potentially problematic. And other Justice department officials have split with him on this issue, or at least seemed to back away from this. That's right. FBI director. Christopher Wray, testified before congress a couple of weeks ago and was ask. About the attorney general's comments about spying, and he said, that's, that's not the term I would use. And then he was pressed on little more and asked did you see have you seen anything to suggest to you that illegal activity took place in the context of this investigation in? He said, no, not to my knowledge, and former deputy attorney general, rod Rosenstein, has also said he thought the investigation was a valid one, and he seems to be suggesting he also did not see anything that led him to believe that illegal activity took place. We do. Also have some details about the origins of the Russia investigation due in part to the testimony of former FBI officials. That's right. We do actually know a lot about how the FBI investigation unfolded. They got initial tip from a, an Australian diplomat that Trump campaign advisor, George popadopoulos seemed to know something about what Russia was going to do with quote unquote, dirt. They had on Hillary Clinton. And this came against the backdrop of. The Democratic National Committee announcing they had been hacked emails leaked hacked from the Democrats showing up on line. So there was a lot of concern about who these emails. What is their motivation is it? In fact, Russia, are they working with any political opponents of Mrs Clinton to, to get this out there? So we, we know that. That's how they first opened it. They obtain warrants to conduct surveillance took other investigative steps. What attorney general bar seems to be saying is that he's not only looking at what the FBI did he saying? He's looking at investigative activity that happened before that July two thousand sixteen opening of the FBI investigation, but he is not being explicit or specific about what actions he thinks may have occurred before that. Because new multiple former FBI officials have testified, they did not take any steps before that July twenty sixteen opening to your point. Earlier about mimicking, the words of the president bar has also been accused of protecting the president. And we did see in a tweet. On Friday that President Trump again. Echoed, those words saying his campaign was conclusively spied on. Are you hearing concerns about that relationship between attorney general bar and the president? We have actually gotten a lot of even unsolicited emails and messages today from former FBI and Justice department agents, and officials who are pretty concerned, and seem to think that the attorney general is expressing, much more political views than you normally see from an attorney general and is much more sort of overtly supportive of the president in a way that they don't really expect an attorney general to be in the attorney general's defense. I think his argument is that he is most interested in protecting the office of the presidency and wants to make sure that the powers of the executive branch and the presidency are not too eroded by people in these. Positions of immense power and authority within the investigative agencies within the department of Justice last Wall Street Journal reporter Aroon, abyss went autho. Joining me from Washington. Thank you so much Renault. Thank you. Now onto some more headlines from the Wall Street Journal. Hewlett Packard has agreed to buy Cray, supercomputer maker for one point four four billion dollars. The Seattle based company makes equipment for supercomputers as well as designs and builds them Cray, and Advanced Micro Devices announced earlier this month that they were teaming up to build a six hundred million dollar supercomputer for the department of energy. The company is also working with Intel on another supercomputer project for the government. A British food delivery company has announced a big investment from Amazon delivery says it raised five hundred seventy five million dollars in a recent funding round, led by Amazon with contributions from T. Rowe price group and fidelity management and research, delivery charges restaurants, a commission and customers of flat fee for each order, which is delivered by bicycle it operates in the UK and thirteen other markets in Europe Asia. And in parts of the Middle East. Search engine by do once known as China's Google has posted its first quarterly loss since going public in two thousand five company cited weak advertising that it expects to continue amid slowing economic growth efforts to branch out into driverless cars and artificial intelligence while growing haven't made up for the slowdown in advertising. That's what's news for this Friday afternoon. I'm Anne Marie for totally for the Wall Street Journal, have a great weekend, and thanks for listening.