Attorney General William Barr told ABC News in an exclusive interview that President Donald Trump never asked him to intervene in a criminal case. Still, he expressed frustration at Trump’s tweets about the Justice Department saying they “make it impossible for me to do my job.”
ABC News’ Luke Barr has more:
Barr’s comments are a rare break with a president who the attorney general has aligned himself with and fiercely defended. But it also puts Barr in line with many of Trump’s supporters on Capitol Hill who say they support the president but wish he’d cut back on his tweets.
“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr told ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas.
When asked if he was prepared for the consequences of criticizing the president – his boss – Barr said “of course” because his job is to run the Justice Department and make decisions on “what I think is the right thing to do.”
“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody … whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president,” Barr said. “I’m gonna do what I think is right. And you know … I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”
Earlier this week, the Justice Department overruled a controversial sentencing recommendation for convicted Trump confidant Roger Stone by four of its prosecutors.
Barr and the president have fiercely defended the decision, calling the sentencing recommendation excessive.