- Attorney General William Barr said in an interview aired Thursday that Trump's efforts to influence the DOJ "make it impossible for me to do my job" and suggested that it was time to "stop tweeting".
- "I can't do my job here in the department with a constant background comment that undercuts me," said Barr.
- Trump initially replied that "he wasn't bothered by (Barr's) comments at all," but on Friday morning he went to Twitter to claim that he had a "legal right" to tell his attorney general what to do.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
ABC News aired an interview with Attorney General William Barr on Thursday, saying that the President's efforts to influence the Department of Justice made it "impossible for me to do my job" and suggested that his boss should "tweet." break up".
"I am not bullied or influenced by anyone. And I said whether it was Congress, a newspaper office, or the President," said Barr. "I'll do what I think is right. And you know … I can't do my job here in the department with a constant background comment that undercuts me."
He added, "I think it's time to stop tweeting about Justice Department criminal matters."
But Barr insisted that Trump "never" asked him "to do anything in a criminal case."
Trump frequently publicly tweeted that the Justice Department be lenient with its employees and act against its perceived political enemies.
On Thursday, President Trump unusually claimed he was "not bothered by (Barr's) comments at all," and White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham issued a statement confirming that the President "had full confidence in Attorney General Barr." to do his job and keep it going. " the law."
But on Friday morning, Trump went to Twitter to undermine Barr.
"& # 39; The President never asked me to do anything in criminal proceedings. & # 39; AG Barr This does not mean that I, as President, do not have the legal right to do so, but I have so far decided not to do! "he wrote,
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2020
Trump has repeatedly called on the Justice Department to investigate his political opponents, including former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter and former FBI director James Comey.
Barr told ABC that he would not follow Trump's order to investigate a political opponent.
"If he said go to investigate someone and you feel that he is a political opponent, a Attorney General shouldn't do that," Barr said.
Earlier this week, four prosecutors withdrew from the case against Trump's longtime adviser and ally Roger Stone after the Justice Department decided to impose a milder sentence on Stone. The DOJ's move came shortly after Trump publicly criticized the longer sentence the prosecutor wanted to pursue.
Sonam Sheth contributed to this report.