Donald Trump praises William Barr for 'fantastic' performance | News Coverage from USA

Donald Trump praises William Barr for ‘fantastic’ performance

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump praised Attorney General William Barr’s performance during a four-hour long Senate hearing on Wednesday, saying “he did a fantastic job” and dismissing calls for his resignation as “abuse from people” that are running for president.

“He did a fantastic job today, I’m told. I got to see some of it. He did a fantastic job,” the president said during an interview on Fox Business. 

The attorney general during his testimony stood by his handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into whether Russia colluded with Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election and widened to include possible obstruction of justice.

More: ‘We’re out of it.’ Attorney General Barr defends release, conclusions of special counsel’s Russia report

Barr’s appearance came less than 24 hours after Mueller issued a rare statement objecting the attorney general’s characterization of the obstruction of justice portion of the report, which he said “threatened to undermine” the purpose of the inquiry.

Also Wednesday, Barr said he will not testify before the House Judiciary Committee in a hearing that was scheduled for Thursday. Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the committee, claimed that he wanted the testimony to include questioning by committee staffers, in addition to lawmakers, which Barr had previously said he would not do.

Trump defended Barr’s decision, saying he believes “they want to treat him differently than they have anybody else.”

“For many, many years, they’ve never done it this way where they’re bringing in outside counsel or something, you know, you elect people they’re supposed to be able to do their own talking,” he said. 

Following Barr’s testimony, a number of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates called on him to resign. Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro was the first, followed by  Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar.

More: Attorney General William Barr refuses to testify at House hearing about special counsel Robert Mueller

While he hadn’t heard about the calls for Barr’s resignation, Trump dismissed them as “ridiculous.”

“He’s an outstanding man, he’s an outstanding legal mind,” Trump said of Barr. “He performed incredibly well today.”

Trump went on to criticize several of the candidates, including Harris, who the president said was “probably very nasty” during her questioning of Barr. 

“You have three of them running against me and they’re up there ranting and raving like lunatics, frankly, and they’re running, and how is that fair?” Trump said.

“So you have Bill Barr, highly respected, great attorney general, and he’s got to take the abuse from people that are running for office,” Trump said. 


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