Barr breaks with Trump: His tweets ‘make it impossible for me to do my job’

The attorney general’s declaration of independence comes as he and the president have faced blowback over the handling of Roger Stone’s case.

14.2.2020

Attorney General William Barr sharply criticized President Trump’s prolific Twitter habit, saying that the president’s affinity for opining about the goings-on at the DOJ “make it impossible for me to do my job”

The attorney general’s declaration of independence comes as he and the president have faced blowback over the handling of Roger Stone’s case.

WhatsApp Attorney General William Barr on Thursday sharply criticized President Donald Trump’s prolific Twitter habit, saying that the president’s affinity for opining about the goings-on at the Justice Department “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 told ABC News’ Pierre Thomas in an interview, acknowledging that he had a problem with “some” of Trump’s tweets. Advertisement It’s not clear whether Barr gave the White House a heads-up about the interview. But his distancing from Trump’s complaints comes as the attorney general and the president have faced fierce blowback over the handling of a court case featuring Trump’s longtime political adviser Roger Stone. Trump lashed out at career prosecutors this week after they recommended up to nine years in prison for Stone, who was found guilty of lying to investigators, obstructing Congress and witness intimidation, prompting the Justice Department to walk back its recommendation a day later and causing four prosecutors to withdraw from the case in protest. Trump’s public fuming over the Stone case was just one example of how his running commentary on Justice Department matters complicated Barr’s job, the attorney general said on Thursday. Democrats had immediately seized on the stunning reversal, saying it smacked of political interference, and it renewed calls for Barr to resign. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who along with other Trump critics has derisively referred to Barr as the president’s personal attorney, called the move an “abuse of power” by Trump. She echoed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who this week called for the department’s independent watchdog to look into the issue. In Stone’s case, Barr confirmed that he’d personally intervened to walk back the stiff sentencing recommendation, saying he’d been taken by surprise at the initial recommendation. But he maintained that his decision had been made hours before Trump tweeted about the case in the middle of the night, with the president calling the proposed sentence a “miscarriage of justice.” “Once the tweet occurred, the question is, well, now what do I do?“ Barr said. “Do you go forward with what you think is the right decision or do you pull back because of the tweet? And that just sort of illustrates how disruptive these tweets can be.” He went on to get more explicit in imploring the president to rein in his commentary. “To have public statements and tweets about the department, about people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department, about judges before whom we have cases,” Barr contended, makes it “impossible for me to do my job and to ensure the courts and the prosecutors and department that we’re doing our work with integrity.” While numerous other Trump Cabinet members have fallen out of favor with the president after tangling with him, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said on Thursday evening that Trump wasn‘t troubled by Barr‘s public rebuke. But she stopped short of saying that Trump planned to change his ways . “The President wasn‘t bothered by the comments at all and he has the right, just like any other American citizen, to publicly offer his opinions,“ Grisham said. “President Trump uses social media very effectively to fight for the American people against injustices in our country, including the fake news. The President has full faith and confidence in Attorney General Barr to do his job and uphold the law.“ In the interview, Barr rejected accusations of undue political influence at the department, asserting that Trump had never pressured him "to do anything in a criminal case" but affirming that he would not bow to any political interference in his department. Barr flatly denied any discussions with the White House about the Stone case, but in the released portions of the ABC interview, he did not appear to deny that the president had ever discussed specific cases or investigations with him. Given the scenario of a president ordering an attorney general to investigate a political opponent, Barr said that if “you sense it’s because they’re a political opponent, then the attorney general shouldn’t carry that out, wouldn’t carry that out.” Still, he said, Trump’s tweets indicating anything to the contrary added “grist to the mill.” Trump has repeatedly been accused of trying to weaponize the Justice Department for his political gain, frequently demanding investigations into his perceived foes. And just in recent months, he was impeached in the House — and acquitted in the Senate — on charges that he withheld military aid in an attempt to pressure a foreign leader into conducting politically beneficial investigations. Just hours before Barr’s interview, for instance, Trump had asserted to the journalist Geraldo Rivera that his “life would’ve been a lot easier” had he chosen Barr over Jeff Sessions as his attorney general from the start, an implication that the department’s since-ended investigation into Trump’s Russia ties would have gone more smoothly for him. Barr, whose admonishment amounts to a rare split with the boss he has often forcefully defended, said he was prepared for the fallout of airing his criticisms. “As I said during my confirmation, I came in to serve as attorney general,” Barr told Thomas. “I am responsible for everything that happens in the department but the thing I have most responsibility for are the issues that are brought to me for decisions. “I will make those decisions based on what I think is the right thing to do, and I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody — whether it’s Congress, newspaper editorial boards, or the president,” he continued. “I’m going to do what I think is right.” Barr also complained on Thursday of “constant background commentary” that he implied was separate from that of the president. “I cannot do my job at the department“ with those kinds of distractions, he said, adding that the noise “undercuts me.” Some prominent Trump allies seemed to have Barr‘s back on Thursday, gently urging the president to go along with the attorney general’s recommendation to quit tweeting and speaking about pending criminal cases. “My reaction is that the president made a great choice when he picked bill Barr to be the attorney general, and I think the president should listen to his advice,“ Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Fox News. “I think if the attorney general said it’s getting in the way of doing his job, maybe the president should listen to the attorney general.“ With Trump painting Stone‘s prosecution as a miscarriage of justice and career prosecutors recoiling at what they view as the politicization of Justice Department decisions, Barr seemed to be continuing to stake out a middle ground, but one that could still irritate Trump. After Stone‘s conviction last November on all seven felony charges he faced, Trump complained on Twitter that the trial demonstrated “a double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country.“ However, Barr told ABC on Thursday that he was “happy“ that Stone was convicted last November. In the new interview, Barr also offered the most detailed account yet of the sequence of events that led to the furor that has roiled the Justice Department. The two-time attorney general appeared to blame the extraordinary public reversal on a misunderstanding with a former deputy he recently tapped as interim U.S. attorney, Timothy Shea. “On Monday,“ Barr said, “he came by to briefly chat with me and say that the team very much wanted to recommend the seven-to-nine-year [sentence] to the judge, but he thought that there was a way of satisfying everybody and providing more flexibility. … I was under the impression that what was going to happen was very much what I had suggested.” Barr said he was startled on Monday night when media reports highlighted the prosecution‘s call for Stone to get as much as nine years — a proposal that stemmed from treating as serious threats Stone‘s taunts to another witness. Stone claims those barbs were just bluster and bravado. The attorney general said he initially thought the press reports were wrong, but soon realized they were correct. “I said, ‘The news is spinning this, this is not what we were going to do,‘” Barr said. “I was surprised.“ The sentencing filing submitted on Monday did say that “it was appropriate for the court to consider“ how the guidelines were affected by the threats whose seriousness is in dispute, but prosecutors‘ bottom line was that a sentence of between roughly seven and nine years “would accurately reflect the seriousness of his crimes and promote respect for the law.“ Barr said the filing did not capture the nuance that he had expected would be conveyed. He said he told his aides Monday night that they needed to clarify the filing with the court, but the 1:48 a.m. tweet from Trump on Tuesday complicated the situation, making it appear that any action Barr took was the product of Trump‘s intervention. Former Justice Department officials said they could not recall any past episode in which a miscommunication resulted in the garbling of a key pleading in a high-profile case. Read more: POLITICO

Totally staged and scripted. Waaa! It's a ploy! Gaslighting don’t fall this obvious lying bullshit Reality TV. Fake outrage. Stop this. Just stop. It was a fake & staged interview. JFC. Do better He is a CORRUPT. DON’T buy into the Barr Big Bag of BS. Trump’s lackey is investigating Trump’s “enemies.” These are dangerous times we live in.

I agree it is all a stunt - politics really. He could have done something during the Impeachment hearings but didn’t so now this set up.

Barr tells Trump to stop tweeting about Stone case; juror calls it 'appalling'Attorney General Barr tells Trump to stop tweeting about Roger Stone case, saying in an ABC interview that the tweets 'make it impossible to do my job' The Banana Republicans Like he was doing it to begin with, smh

This is nothing but a scam to deflect for cowtowimg to the orange POS! Barr spinning his own questionable actions at the behest of trump, bullshit☹️ Seriously! If you cannot serve the American people and uphold our justice system because of Trump virus, then resign. Numerous people with integrity did so

Yet he did as told. Very convincing? Not! Barr knows dam well that trump wants... and hes more than willing to oblige. Resign! What, Trumps Fixer is having trouble keeping his conspiracy with Trump a secret? So sad. All you do is what ever trump tells you to do anyway Resign Barr — you enable him. You are the reason he has become so brazen and abusive.

This is just another coverup. Barr has no intent to do his job as demonstrated by his actions.

Barr takes control of legal matters of interest to Trump, including Stone sentencingBarr&39;s intervention in Roger Stone&39;s case wasn&39;t the first time senior political appointees reached into a case involving an ex-Trump aide, officials say. NBCNews Time for justice. NBCNews Big scoop...

FieldRoamer We need to hear from our great President, no ones stopping Barr from doing his job except himself. He didn’t sharply criticize, he repeated what they had agreed he would say to make it look that way. Cue the violins Noooo....this is a Trump and Barr sham for the weak of mind. What job? Barr is covering his own ass as the NY Bar Association called for an investigation on Barr.

Barr begged for the job. Didn't he think dear leader would believe that he owned him? Horse shit..... This is one more scheme.

Trump Congratulates William Barr for Eliminating Justice Department IndependencePresident Trump’s stated view of the subject of DOJ independence is very clear: He does not believe it should exist, or that it ever has. jonathanchait writes

Don’t believe this at all. billy has not changed, he the same criminal as he was yesterday. seriously- you write sharply? It’s a smoke screen. So he can continue to do Trumps dirtywork. We are not clueless- hope you stay writing better headlines. Who would fall for this? 'Barr sharply criticized Trump'. Really? I think NOT. Barr makes a feeble public attempt to place a beam of daylight between himself and Trump. Yet, his 'words and actions' place him totally on board with Trump's wishes, desires, policies and even his whims. Low Barr. No Sale

Trump’s tweets make it impossible for Barr to do his job, because they telegraph the corrupt duo’s corrupt plans Who is buying what Barr is trying to sell? This from an AG who sold his soul and spine for Trump to have with fava beans and a nice Chianti. No one believes this is legit. Bullshit . This is a coordinated scam cooked by all three assholes realDonaldTrump , senatemajldr and Barr . It is 100% bullshit . Add to them that thing LindseyGrahamSC

Finally he took his head out of his ass for a minute

Barr takes control of cases that interest Trump, like Stone sentenceBREAKING: AG Barr is taking control of legal matters of interest to President Trump, including the Roger Stone sentencing, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. Barr the bagman We are in the presence of corruption. I am sad Pardon all witch hunt victims.

Smokescreen! An orchestrated BS statement by Barr to take the heat off his abhorrent behavior Just more bad acting & distortion of the truth from a key player in this criminal administration...BarrIsACriminal GOPCorruptionOverCountry GOPCoverup Smoke and mirrors Tah He needs to crime in peace everybody. Smdh

I say let's get gooliani involved. He can become the spokesidiot for this situation. He’s just pissed because he wants to interfere unnoticed and trump keeps putting him in the spotlight. I find it funny that a lot of cult members are commenting here but instead of sticking to the topic, they are busy with BarackObama HillaryClinton SpeakerPelosi RepAdamSchiff & Comey I wonder Why 🤣🤣The need to defend their mimi 🍄-I guess they are waiting to see his tweet!

It's a farce. Its theater you idiots.

William Barr Intervened to Ease Sentencing Rec for Convicted Trump Ally: ReportThough a Justice Department spokesperson claims that Barr had no contact with the White House regarding Roger Stone’s sentencing recommendation, the Attorney General has mobilized the DOJ in favor of the presidency before Ok we believe there was no contact. Quit calling it the Justice department it it is William Barr’s office we no longer have a DOJ

Phony criticism meant to distract us from the sneaky things he is up to to protect trump from having his crimes discovered and dealt with. Distraction BARR HAS FAKED YOU FAKE NEWS PEOPLE OUT. You liberal news Democrats fall for anything against PRES Trump. Barr knew President Trump tweeted about the Muellerwitchhunt for years before he was hired. You believe he was so shocked by President Trump tweeting? 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

All is good with the President and Attorney General, they seem to be just ironing out some of the wrinkles! America is grateful to have a President that speaks to We the People and not just the press. he didn’t “break” with Trump. it’s an act, it’s a show. please don’t peddle the lie. peddling the lie gives the appearance of legitimacy to it. don’t be complicit in the degradation of our democracy. we need you shedding light and exposing the degradation.

Don't be fooled - Trump and Barr are scheming together! Cry me a river! did barr say, yet again, an empty blah, blah, blah? DOJCorruption DOJisCompromised Hardly sharply criticized, smoke screen while doing what is expected of him.

Trump Praises Barr for ‘Taking Charge’ in Roger Stone CasePresident Trump praised Attorney General William Barr for “taking charge” of case against Roger Stone, weighing in on a controversy that started when the Justice Department moved to recommend less prison time for the president’s longtime confidant. That Mr. Trump inappropriately involves himself in investigations and prosecutions, and has Mr. Barr acting as his personal lawyer rather than as Head of the Justice Department strongly suggests that justice is wrongfully being manipulated. Trump: 'Thank you for your corruption, Bill Barr.'

I wish AMERICA could make it IMPOSSIBLE for BARR to do his job, as in IMPEACH THE TRAITOR Barr’s “job” is to do Trump’s dirty work in the dark, but that’s impossible if Trump can’t resist crowing about it. He’s not “breaking with Trump”...just annoyed the President is blatantly telling everyone what the two of them are up to

Start suing democrats for nonstop hate harassment? C'mon ... Seriously Trumps puppet cutting the strings, not a chance ... I just posted one that I messed all up but feel the same way. I believe it was to take the pressure off Barr and Trube mp knew all about it. But damn it would nice if he really meant it. Trump would have a fit but Barr would be able to look in a mirror.

This was Barr cya. Probably with Trumps knowledge and approval How’s he gonna cover up Trumps many corrupt transgressions? Why do they think everyone is as stupid as trump supporters?

I don’t believe you..... It's all fake. Not even sure what his job is at this point. Barr looks like a medical emergency waiting to happen. Stroke or cardiac event. Tomorrow they will say the “fake news” made the statement up, don’t believe what you hear If you are unable to do your job, resign. Disbarment in question?

Yes, what is your job Why would any one believe a word coming from his lying 🤥 tongue! This was all scripted! This is an intro to authoritative regime! This what acquittal got the USA more to come’🙄🙄🤡🤡😩😩😔😔🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ Nooooo. What strategy is this?

At this point theAG is just trying to keep from being debarred Translation, Trumps tweets make public what Barr wants to keep hidden. He lying. I don’t believe a word he says. Bullish... BS. There is absolutely NO break. Barr just finding it more difficult to dismantle our democracy in secret. Impossible for him to recuse himself from the cases he should recuse himself from....Bitch please.

Cover up. Bull💩 Riiiiiiight 🤨. So stop bringing my sycophancy to light. Good for him This is for show, not dough.

Stop this. Do some damn critical thinking. This is kibuki theater, nothing more. AND YOU KNOW IT!! Don’t believe that Barr has had his come to Jesus moment. He’s either covering his ass or making a faux attempt to increase Justice Department morale. Watch what he does with the info alcoholic Rudy gives him.

Barr needs to stop whining and stop protecting obvious corruption in the alphabet agencies. No way he has been through anything close to what Trump and his family have gone thru. Grow a set Barr. What he says contradicts what he does 😢 BarrMustGo BarrIsCorrupt BarrResign I call bullshit on “the break”. If anything he’s trying to save his ample amount of skin.

'breaks with Trump'? oh, puhlese!! this was not what u think.. Nah, he was covering for him. had to explain to trump what Barr was saying. It's becoming a little clearer what Hope Hicks job is going to be, holding trump's Twitter phone.

It’s all preconceived PR spin. It’s hard to do the dirty if you keep telling the world I’m doing it ... BS Barr should be impeached.Trump owns him he’s a puppet. THAT'S what you define as 'sharp'? BS Barr didn't break. Barr got terrified once the 4 prosecutors resigned. Those are big guns plus Liu. They know a lot of shit. Barr's attempting to control the fall out.

realDonaldTrump ...anyone could understand that No he doesn’t. This is called a snow job! Cover up the filt with words that sound pleasing for now in hopes people forget before the snow melts. boybye And yet Barr still bends to his masters wishes. BS. Someone ask him if tweets make it to his office.



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