[UPDATED WITH MORE OF INTERVIEW] – AG Barr says Trump’s tweets make it “impossible for me to do his job”…

ABC News has released portions of an interview in which AG Barr rarely criticized Trump for some of his tweets, saying it makes it tough for him to do his job and and assure everyone that he’s doing his work with integrity:

Here’s more from ABC News:

In an exclusive interview, Attorney General Bill Barr told ABC News on Thursday that President Donald Trump “has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case” but should stop tweeting about the Justice Department because his tweets “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 Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas.

When asked directly if he had a problem with the president’s tweets, Barr responded, “Yes. Well, I have a problem with some of, some of the tweets. As I said at my confirmation hearing, I think the essential role of the attorney general is to keep law enforcement, the criminal process sacrosanct to make sure there is no political interference in it. And I have done that and I will continue to do that,” adding, “And I’m happy to say that, in fact the president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.”

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.”



Barr explains how Trump’s tweets complicate his job:

In the interview with ABC News, Barr fiercely defended his actions and said it had nothing to do with the president. He said he was supportive of Stone’s convictions but thought the sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years as excessive. When news outlets reported the seven to nine year sentencing recommendation last Monday, Barr said he thought it was spin.

Barr said he told his staff that night that the Justice Department has to amend its recommendation. Hours later, the president tweeted that it was “horrible and very unfair” and that “the real crimes were on the other side.”

“Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” Trump tweeted.

Barr said Trump’s middle-of-the-night tweet put him in a bad position. He insists he had already discussed with staff that the sentencing recommendation was too long.

“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 said.

Barr was also surprised to see the four prosecutors quit the case:

Barr also told ABC News he was “a little surprised” that the prosecution team withdrew from the case and said he hadn’t spoken to the team.

He said it was “preposterous” to suggest that he “intervened” in the case as much as he acted to resolve a dispute within the department on a sentencing recommendation.

If there was ever a time for Trump to take something to heart, this would be it. AG Barr is a great Attorney General and Trump needs to be a good ‘boss’ as much as he needs Barr to be a good AG. He truly doesn’t want to lose Barr, so he needs to take Barr’s advice and dial it back while the relationship is still good.

 
UPDATE: Here’s a longer version of AG Barr’s interview with ABC News:

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