Barr’s criticism of Trump in an ABC News interview has raised a lot of eyebrows.
The attorney general said Trump should stop tweeting about the Justice Department, after it put him in a bind for intervening in the case of longtime informal Trump adviser Roger Stone.
Some, including congressional Democrats, suggested Barr and Trump coordinated a plan to defuse uproar over Barr’s unorthodox intervention in Stone’s case. But there’s no evidence of this.
“It appears more than likely that the Attorney General made his public comments of his own volition, but with the implicit understanding that the president would not be overly upset by it,” a Washington-based national security lawyer told Insider.
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Attorney General William Barr offered rare criticism of President Donald Trump during an interview with ABC News that aired Thursday, prompting the president’s critics to speculate about his motives.
Barr told ABC that Trump’s tweeting habits “make it impossible for me to do my job.”
“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr said.
EXCLUSIVE: “I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Attorney General Bill Barr tells @PierreTABC following Pres. Trump’s tweets on Roger Stone sentencing. https://t.co/3bf9a1Z5v4 pic.twitter.com/yITwRgzutJ
— ABC News (@ABC) February 13, 2020
In response, some Democrats and media figures suggested without evidence that Barr had gotten Trump’s approval to criticize him and to say the Justice Department’s decisions are still independent after Barr’s controversial intervention in the case of long-time Trump adviser Roger Stone, a move that alarmed his own prosecutors.
Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, for example, tweeted, “Slow your roll if you think Barr is breaking from Trump. This was a carefully staged message to cool down pissed off DOJ attys whom Barr undercut & to avoid any further internal strife. This message does not get sideways with Trump because he’s already done what Trump wanted.”
Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida, who was a House impeachment manager in Trump’s Senate trial, suggested Barr was “in cahoots” with Trump when it came to his criticism of the president’s tweets.
.@RepValDemings says she wouldn’t be surprised if Attorney General William Barr and the President were “in cahoots” regarding Barr’s comments about Trump’s tweets.https://t.co/jZ6NkoORWt pic.twitter.com/nWZHud9po3
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) February 14, 2020
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
The president has a well-known reputation for responding with vitriol to virtually any public slights, but has so far refrained from doing so after Barr’s comments, which may have been part of the reason so many raised questions about the situation.
“The President wasn’t bothered by the comments at all and he has the right, just like any American citizen, to publicly offer his opinions,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement on Thursday.
The president did, however, tweet about his …read more
Source:: Business Insider