Attorney General William Barr strikes back at CBS reporter Paula Reid after she suggested during Thursday’s press conference that he was going to great lengths to protect President Trump.
Paula Reid, an attorney-turned-White-House-correspondent, began by questioning whether William Barr had intentionally gone out of his way to build protections into his summary for President Trump.
“Democrats have questioned some of the process here,” Reid started. “[A] Republican-appointed judge on Tuesday said you have created an environment that caused a significant part of the American public to be concerned about these redactions.”
Then she argued that Attorney General Barr cleared President Trump on obstruction. The CBS reporter also pointed out the fact that the President is now fundraising on Barr’s comments from last week’s budget hearing when he voiced his belief that the Trump campaign was spied on.
“Here, you have remarks quite generous to the president and his feelings and emotions. What do you say to people on both sides of the aisle who are concerned you are trying to protect the president?” Reid asked.
“Actually, the statements about his sincere beliefs are recognized in the report,” Barr responded. “I’m not sure what your basis is for saying that I am being generous to the president.”
“You faced an unprecedented situation,” Reid continued. “It just seems like there’s a lot of effort to say — to acknowledge — that this was difficult — ”
“Well, is there another precedent for it?” Barr interrupted.
“No, but it’s unusual — ”
“So unprecedented is an accurate description, isn’t it?”
Attorney General Barr also noted during the press conference that he was not drawing his own conclusions, but his judgments are based on the conclusions reached by special counsel Mueller and his team. He also made it clear that he had no problem with Mueller being asked to testify in person before Congress.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement that Mueller must testify due to Barr’s alleged partisan handling of the report.