Outbursts on social media and during televised news events from President Donald Trump, where he makes blatant attacks against individuals on his political “enemies” list, have made things very difficult for his attorney general, William Barr.
In an interview with ABC News that aired earlier this week, Barr explained that Trump’s tweets don’t do any good, in terms of when he makes attacks toward individuals who are subjects of DOJ investigations.
“If you have a case before a judge to be attacking the judge, you know, it is not helpful or productive at all,” Barr explained, using allegory to make his point.
Now, according to a separate report from ABC News, it appears that Barr’s complaints haven’t come out of nowhere — he’s reportedly been upset about Trump’s tweets for quite some time now.
Citing an anonymous person familiar with the matter, Barr has been complaining “for weeks” about Trump’s public meddling in DOJ investigations.
For the past few weeks, Trump’s complaints have mentioned quite a few individuals, including former FBI Director James Comey, former Acting Director Andrew McCabe, and Russia investigation special counsel Robert Mueller.
LATEST: Attorney General William Barr complained privately "for weeks" to Pres. Trump about his tweets and public statements related to Justice Department investigations, a person familiar with the matter tells @ABC News. https://t.co/PDF0qgrTKH
— ABC News (@ABC) February 14, 2020
Trump earlier this week also shunned sentencing guidelines for his former political adviser Roger Stone. The DOJ later announced it was reconsidering those guidelines, mere hours after his complaint.
In response to Barr’s public comments regarding his tweets, Trump asserted (on Twitter, no less) that he had a legal right to meddle in the DOJ’s affairs, even though previous presidents have taken great pains to try and maintain independence at the department.
Noting a key segment of the Barr interview in which the AG said, “The president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case,” Trump responded by writing, “This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!”