During her turn to question Inspector General Michael Horowitz today, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) zeroed in on Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments on the IG report, where he challenged the report's findings that political bias did not play a role in the FBI's Russia investigation.
Hirono brought up Barr's past usage of the term "spying" when describing the FBI's investigation, and mentioned that Barr reiterated that claim in his comments from yesterday, suggesting that the Attorney General is intentionally painting a picture that the FBI was doing something "they were not authorized to do."
Horowitz, while being careful not to bolster Hirono's contention, pointed out that his report only relied on the word "surveillance."
"And yet, we have the highest law enforcement person in our country using a word, not just once, but twice, using the word 'spying,'" Hirino said.
Hirono went on to get Horowitz to confirm that the term "spying" was not a legally appropriate word to describe the FBI's investigation.
"Do you think questioning the motives of your staff as possibly involving bad faith or accusing them of spying would be demoralizing to your people?" she asked.
"I would not speak to my folks about them acting in that manner," Horowitz replied.
Watch the full exchange below: