Trump Tweets ‘Make it Impossible for Me to Do My Job,’ AG Barr Says
Attorney General William Barr complained about President Donald Trump’s tweeting habits Thursday, saying on national TV that the tweets “make it impossible for me to do my job.”
Barr then quickly doubled down on his criticism, adding that, as head of the Justice Department, he wouldn’t “be bullied and influenced by anybody” — whether it’s Congress, the media or the president himself.
“I’m going to do what I think is right,” he said during an interview broadcast Thursday on ABC News. “I cannot do my job here at the department with constant background commentary that undercuts me.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did not hesitate to back Barr, saying on Fox that “maybe the president should listen to the attorney general.”
Barr leavened his criticism by saying that the president “has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.”
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said Thursday that Trump “has full faith and confidence” in Barr to do his job, though if past is any indicator that may not bode well for Barr’s job security.
Trump said the same of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions before repeatedly criticizing him in public. Sessions ultimately resigned from the post.
The Barr interview on ABC came after four Justice Department prosecutors stepped down in response to the reversal of their sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, a political adviser and confidant of Trump who was convicted of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.
Barr rejected his own agency’s recommendation that Stone serve up to nine years behind bars. That rejection came after Trump tweeted about the case, raising concerns about Barr’s independence and integrity.
“The thing I have the most responsibility for are the issues that are brought to me for a decision,” Barr said. “And I will make those decisions based on what I think is the right thing to do, and I’m not going to be bullied and influenced by anybody.”
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