Bill Barr Gets Pummeled By Reporters at Presser: Are You Trying to Spin for President Trump?


This post is by Tommy Christopher from Mediaite


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Reporters hammered Attorney General William Barr for holding a press conference to spin the contents of Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s report hours before anyone would have a chance to read it. At Thursday morning’s press conference, Barr delivered a lengthy rehash of his four-page memo, repeatedly stated Trump’s “no collusion” mantra, and made excuses for Trump on the charge of obstruction of justice. When Barr eventually took questions from reporters, there were sharp queries about the “propriety” of Barr’s actions this morning. He was repeatedly grilled about his decision to render a judgment on obstruction of justice, and was asked “how do you respond to criticism you’re receiving from congressional Democrats that you’re acting more as an attorney for the president rather than as the chief law enforcement officer?” Barr responded to the obstruction question, but ignored the latter portion of the question. Another reporter asked Barr about Continue reading "Bill Barr Gets Pummeled By Reporters at Presser: Are You Trying to Spin for President Trump?"

Pelosi Shreds Barr Ahead of Mueller Report Presser: He Threw Out His Credibility to ‘Protect’ Trump


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted Attorney General Bill Barr Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s expected release of the Mueller report and Barr’s press conference. The current reporting indicates that Barr’s press conference will be coming before the Mueller report is released to Congress, and that––per the New York Times––DOJ officials had “numerous conversations” with White House lawyers about Mueller’s conclusions. The Times reports, “The talks have aided the president’s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal to the report and strategizes for the coming public war over its findings.” Pelosi linked to the report tonight as she said Barr “has thrown out his credibility” in service of protecting POTUS “above all else.”

Jerry Nadler Reveals Mueller Report Won’t Be Released Until After Barr Presser: ‘This is Wrong’


This post is by Tamar Auber from Mediaite


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Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is not at all happy at reports that the contents of the Mueller report may not be provided to members of Congress until after Attorney General William Barr‘s press conference on Thursday morning. Nadler shared his thoughts on Twitter on Wednesday. Noting that Barr had previously said that it doesn’t do the public a service for “me to attempt to summarize the full report,” Nadler commented: “I agree. So why is the AG holding a press conference tomorrow morning to go over the Mueller report?” Continue reading "Jerry Nadler Reveals Mueller Report Won’t Be Released Until After Barr Presser: ‘This is Wrong’"

Chuck Todd Goes Off on Report About DOJ Briefing WH Lawyers: ‘This Is Actual Collusion!’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Chuck Todd went on a tear this afternoon on the reporting from The New York Times that DOJ officials spoke to White House lawyers about details of the Mueller report prior to tomorrow’s big release. Per the Times:
Justice Department officials have had numerous conversations with White House lawyers about the conclusions made by Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, in recent days, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. The talks have aided the president’s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal to the report and strategizes for the coming public war over its findings.
“I don’t know what you want to call it. Shamelessness, hubris, whatever it is,” Todd said. “But the fact that had any Democrat tried anything like this, the impeachment hearings would be––I mean, when Barack Obama on 60 Minutes said, ‘You know, these emails… it doesn’t look like there’s much there there.’ Continue reading "Chuck Todd Goes Off on Report About DOJ Briefing WH Lawyers: ‘This Is Actual Collusion!’"

MSNBC Panel Baffled by Barr Presser: Mueller Has ‘More Credibilty’ Than AG, Was This Trump’s Idea?


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Nicolle Wallace and her MSNBC panel this afternoon questioned the point of AG Bill Barr holding a press conference on the Mueller report tomorrow morning. The report is expected to be released in the morning, and as NBC News reporter Julia Ainsley noted, there’s a looming question of why this is happening in the first place:
“The big thing I think everyone is asking here is is this press conference a way for Barr to get ahead of any information that we might find in the report and put his spin on it, and put a spin on it that’s favorable to the president, before the public has had a chance to really digest what’s in this report? That’s the main thing that people are asking at this point.”
Former Defense Dept. chief of staff Jeremy Bash said he wouldn’t be surprised to find out this was POTUS’ idea. Continue reading "MSNBC Panel Baffled by Barr Presser: Mueller Has ‘More Credibilty’ Than AG, Was This Trump’s Idea?"

AG Bill Barr to Hold Press Conference on Mueller Report Tomorrow Morning


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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The Mueller report is finally expected to drop tomorrow morning, and now we have news Attorney General Bill Barr will be holding a morning press conference. Per multiple reports Barr will hold the presser at 9:30 am. It’s unclear yet what time the Mueller report will drop. Continue reading "AG Bill Barr to Hold Press Conference on Mueller Report Tomorrow Morning"

Fox News’ Napolitano: Bill Barr’s in a No-Win Situation Over Expected Redactions to Mueller Report


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano said this afternoon that Attorney General Bill Barr is basically in a no-win situation over the redactions being made to the Mueller report––expected to be released Thursday. Neil Cavuto noted how a lot of the report could ultimately be blacked out. Napolitano agreed that “blackout equals freakout.” “The more of that is blacked out, the less credibility this will have,” he said, “and that puts the attorney general in a conundrum, because much of what he will black out he is not at liberty to reveal. But where there is wiggle room––if he errs on the side of blacking out, he’s going to be embarrassed once that’s revealed.” At one point Cavuto remarked that the AG is in a “no-win situation.” Napolitano agreed and said there’s certainly a lot of sensitive information in the report. Grand jury testimony, classified matters, and ongoing Continue reading "Fox News’ Napolitano: Bill Barr’s in a No-Win Situation Over Expected Redactions to Mueller Report"

Ari Melber: Dropping Mueller Report Before Good Friday, Passover Could Be Sign Barr’s Trying to Downplay It


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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MSNBC’s Ari Melber opened tonight with the news of AG Bill Barr planning to release a redacted version of the Mueller report on Thursday. And Melber found the timing somewhat curious:
“Barr is picking when to release his redacted version of this obviously very anticipated report. Now, it could be a Monday to start the week. It could be a Friday or the weekend, like some of his memorable letters. It could be Good Friday. That hits this week. And I’m here to tell you tonight, Barr is pretty close, because he’s told the world for the first time today that of all the days that could begin the multi-day process of reading and reacting to this redacted report, the attorney general has picked the eve of Good Friday and Passover, which could be a sign that Barr wants to use this process to try to play down the report Continue reading "Ari Melber: Dropping Mueller Report Before Good Friday, Passover Could Be Sign Barr’s Trying to Downplay It"

Ex-CIA Director Brennan: Bill Barr Sounded Like ‘A Personal Lawyer for Donald Trump Today’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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CIA Director John Brennan criticized Attorney General Bill Barr for his comment about “spying” on the Trump campaign in 2016 during today’s big congressional hearing. He defended the actions of U.S. intel agencies and told Chris Matthews, “I was very disappointed in what Attorney General Barr said today about spying when he was referring to the investigation that was predicated certainly and that the FBI was trying to understand exactly what the Russians were doing.” “U.S. Intelligence agencies were spying against foreign adversaries so that we can understand the threat to our national security,” Brennan said. “But for the attorney general to imply or to say that there was spying domestically, he knows the language very well and he knows the terminology and he knows what it connotes, which is an extralegal activity taking place.” Matthews asked if he considers Barr a toady who’s saying Continue reading "Ex-CIA Director Brennan: Bill Barr Sounded Like ‘A Personal Lawyer for Donald Trump Today’"

Chuck Todd Tears Into Barr for Feeding ‘Conspiracy Theory’: He ‘Gaslit the Country!’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Chuck Todd opened today’s MTP Daily ripping into Attorney General Bill Barr for giving credence to a “conspiracy theory.” Todd honed in on Barr’s comments today saying he believes that spying on the Trump campaign “did occur.” “Using the word spying,” Todd said, “plays into the president’s language and argument that the Russia investigation to him is just a witch hunt and every time they’ve brought up this allegation, there has been zero factual basis for it. Every effort to perpetrate the spying conspiracy theory has been debunked.”

Todd went off on Barr multiple times during his opening panel discussion, noting how the AG “chose to do it this way.” At one point he remarked, “It doesn’t matter what the truth is, does it? I mean, I hate to say this now, but that’s the whole point. It feels like that basically the attorney general gaslit Continue reading "Chuck Todd Tears Into Barr for Feeding ‘Conspiracy Theory’: He ‘Gaslit the Country!’"

Dan Abrams: I’m ‘Concerned’ if Barr Can be ‘Fair Arbiter’ After Trump Campaign Spying Claims


This post is by Caleb Ecarma from Mediaite


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Mediaite founder and ABC’s chief legal analyst Dan Abrams said he is “concerned” about if Attorney General William Barr can be “a fair arbiter” or not after he claimed that the Trump campaign was “spied on” by intelligence agencies. Abrams, who made the comments on his SiriusXM show, pointed out Barr changed his description of the FBI’s actions against the Trump campaign from spying to surveillance during his testimony before a Senate panel today “Barr tries to clarify what he says,” Abrams said, before asking why Barr used the word spying even though he claimed he was “not suggesting the rules were violated.” “What the heck are you doing using the word spying then?” He added. “For a lawyer — for those of us who are lawyers words matter, you have to be precise in your words, and then he goes back to instead of calling it surveillance, Continue reading "Dan Abrams: I’m ‘Concerned’ if Barr Can be ‘Fair Arbiter’ After Trump Campaign Spying Claims"

Barr Clarifies Comments About Spying on Trump Campaign: ‘I Am Not Saying That Improper Surveillance Occurred’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Attorney General Bill Barr clarified this afternoon the comments he made earlier in today’s senate hearing about spying on the Trump campaign. Senator Jerry Moran (R- KS) asked him what his basis was for reaching the conclusion he made on spying and “what are the consequences for those who committed unauthorized surveillance.” “Did you say that I said that it occurred?” Barr asked. “You indicated––I tried to at least reflect on what your quote was, that you thought spying on a political campaign occurred in the course of an intelligence agency’s investigation into Russian interference in 2016,” Moran said. “I thought the question was did I have any basis for saying that,” Barr responded. Moran said, “And I’m now asking what the basis is or what the facts are that lead you to that thought.” “Okay. I felt — I am concerned about it, and I was Continue reading "Barr Clarifies Comments About Spying on Trump Campaign: ‘I Am Not Saying That Improper Surveillance Occurred’"

MSNBC Legal Analyst on Barr Spying Comments: He ‘Feels the Need to Curry Favor With Trump’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Attorney General Bill Barr confirmed during today’s congressional hearing that he will be reviewing “the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016.” At one point he said he believes spying of the Trump campaign “did occur.” MSNBC legal analyst Cynthia Alksne said with a laugh, “I think that’s crazy.” “That some reason they were spying on the Trump campaign and Trump accused that and there was bugging in the campaign and there just wasn’t,” she continued. “And obviously, Barr feels the need to curry favor with Trump and I don’t understand why a man of his standing and reputation would feel the need to kowtow to the president in such a way.” You can watch above, via MSNBC. [image via screengrab]

AG Bill Barr Reportedly Putting Together a Team That Will Review FBI’s Actions in Trump Investigation


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Following today’s big hearing, there’s news tonight that Attorney General Bill Barr is assembling a team to review “controversial counterintelligence decisions” by the DOJ and FBI. Bloomberg reports tonight on this action being taken by Barr, which will also look at “actions taken during the probe of the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016.” Per Bloomberg:
This indicates that Barr is looking into allegations that Republican lawmakers have been pursuing for more than a year — that the investigation into President Donald Trump and possible collusion with Russia was tainted at the start by anti-Trump bias in the FBI and Justice Department… Barr’s inquiry is separate from a long-running investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive matters.
Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recently said there should be a review of “abuse by Continue reading "AG Bill Barr Reportedly Putting Together a Team That Will Review FBI’s Actions in Trump Investigation"

WATCH: Attorney General William Barr Testifies on Trump’s DOJ Budget Request


This post is by Colby Hall from Mediaite


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Attorney General William Barr is testifying on Capitol Hill to discuss the budget request for the Department of Justice put forth by President Donald Trump. Since this is the first congressional appearance since Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report, the Attorney General is expected to be asked numerous questions about the ultimate release of Mueller’s findings. Mueller submitted his findings just over two weeks ago, from which AG Barr released to Congress a four-page letter which revealed only top-level findings, namely that “the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to Continue reading "WATCH: Attorney General William Barr Testifies on Trump’s DOJ Budget Request"

Dem House Judiciary Chair and GOP Ranking Member Call for Mueller to Testify Before Committee


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Congressman Doug Collins, the Republican ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, today said that special counsel Robert Mueller should be called to testify before the committee.

Per Politico, Collins sent a letter to Chairman Jerrold Nadler saying, “If you seek both transparency and for the American public to learn the full contours of the Special Counsel’s investigation, public testimony from Special Counsel Mueller himself is undoubtedly the best way to accomplish this goal.”

And it looks like Nadler agrees.

He tweeted this afternoon that Mueller “should come before the Committee to answer questions in public about his 22 month investigation into President Trump and his associates.”

Nadler added that they must first see the full report from the special counsel’s office and hear testimony from Attorney General Bill Barr on May 2.

DOJ Defends Barr’s Summary of Mueller Report: We Don’t Want to Reveal Findings in ‘Piecemeal Fashion’


This post is by Ken Meyer from Mediaite


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The Department of Justice released a statement on Thursday in defense of Attorney General Bill Barr and his summary of Robert Mueller‘s report.
Every page of the confidential report provided to Attorney General Barr on March 22nd, 2019, was marked “May contain material protected under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6-e,” a law that protects confidential grand jury information – and therefore could not be publicly released. Given the extraordinary public interest in the matter, the Attorney General decided to release the report’s bottom line findings in his conclusions immediately – without attempting to summarize the report – with the understanding that the report itself would be released after the redaction process.
The statement goes on to say Barr doesn’t want the full report released in a “serial or piecemeal process,” and that the DOJ is working with the special counsel to reach an agreement on “appropriate redactions” before Continue reading "DOJ Defends Barr’s Summary of Mueller Report: We Don’t Want to Reveal Findings in ‘Piecemeal Fashion’"

Mueller Team Found ‘Alarming and Significant’ Evidence that Trump Obstructed Justice: Report


This post is by Ken Meyer from Mediaite


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A new report expanded on The New York Times‘ story that Robert Mueller‘s team is not satisfied with the summary Attorney General William Barr provided about their findings on the investigation into Russia and President Donald Trump. Wednesday, the Times made waves in the media when they reported the special counsel’s investigators think Barr “failed to adequately portray [their] findings,” and that Mueller’s full report is “more troubling for President Trump” than Barr’s four-page summary lets on. Thursday, the Washington Post reported that several people on Mueller’s team agree that Barr’s conclusion doesn’t give proper weight to their obstruction of justice findings, which they described as “alarming and significant.” “It was much more acute than Barr suggested,” said one source close to the investigation. Even though Barr told Congress last week that he’ll soon release a redacted version of Mueller’s report, certain members of Mueller’s team Continue reading "Mueller Team Found ‘Alarming and Significant’ Evidence that Trump Obstructed Justice: Report"

Bill Maher: Trump ‘May Not Be a Russian Spy, But He Is a Russian Asset’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Bill Maher went off tonight over AG Bill Barr‘s summary of Robert Mueller‘s report, blasting the attorney general and even saying people shouldn’t be putting so much faith in the special counsel. He said he didn’t understand why Mueller didn’t reach a conclusion on obstruction before going off on Barr and President Donald Trump:
“It just looks to me, you know––high-tech lynching, remember that phrase? This feels like a high-tech coup. I know Barr is an esteemed person… he’s a stooge. This is what third-world countries do. The dictator appoints someone who exonerates him. That’s what happened here. I think Democrats put too much faith in Republicans.”
He even said people shouldn’t be putting so much faith in Mueller either, saying “he’s not sent from heaven” and disagreeing that “just because it’s Bob Mueller, we have to take it on faith.” “He may not be Continue reading "Bill Maher: Trump ‘May Not Be a Russian Spy, But He Is a Russian Asset’"

George Conway in Op-Ed: If Mueller Report Doesn’t Exonerate Trump, It Must Include Something ‘Pretty Damning’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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George Conway has an op-ed in the Washington Post out tonight on the takeaways from Bill Barr‘s summary of Robert Mueller‘s findings––making it clear no matter what President Donald Trump is manifestly unfit for office. Conway––husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway––writes that “it was always virtually unimaginable that collusion, so defined, would ever be found” and the ultimate finding on that issue “was bound to become a straw man for President Trump and his supporters to knock down with glee.” He does note the counter-intelligence part of the report and asks, “So who knows what we might learn on these subjects from Mueller’s still-unreleased report?” Conway acknowledges the case of obstruction was a difficult one because “on the facts, obstruction turns on what’s in a defendant’s mind — often a difficult thing to determine, and especially difficult with a mind as twisted as Trump’s. Continue reading "George Conway in Op-Ed: If Mueller Report Doesn’t Exonerate Trump, It Must Include Something ‘Pretty Damning’"