AG Barr was interviewed by Bill Hemmer on Fox News. It was aired over two hours with commentary. We have included the biggest takeaways. When the full interview is available, we will post it.
About the Steele dossier, Barr said that “It’s a very unusual situation to have opposition research like that, especially one that on its face had a number of clear mistakes and a somewhat jejune analysis.” In particular, he has a lot of questions about the Trump Tower meeting.
He has also found that he is not getting answers and, when he does, they are often inadequate, leaving him with more questions today than he had originally.
Barr added that if we’re worried about foreign influence, we also have to worry if government officials “put their thumb on the scale.” He made it clear he is not saying that happened, but we have to look at it.
He repeated his statement that he was surprised Mueller did not make a decision on obstruction.
About the charge by Pelosi and other congressional Democrats that he lied, he said it is a “laughable charge.” Hemmer asked about the contempt charge and Barr said it is “part of the usual political circus being played out,” and he added that it doesn’t phase him.
Barr also pointed out that Mueller never looked at what the government was doing. He only looked at the Trump-Russian allegations.
“The fact of the matter is Bob Mueller did not look at the government’s activities,” Barr said in an interview that aired Friday. “He was looking at whether or not the Trump campaign had conspired with the Russians. He was not going back and looking at the counterintelligence program.”
Bill Barr also talked about the help the DOJ is giving Central America nations battling the violent gangs — MS-13 and the 18th Street Gang. He said the DOJ helped knock the murder rate down by half in El Salvador.
Hemmer asked if Barr if the Russia-Trump probes are a witch hunt.
ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH THE WORDS ‘WITCH HUNT, HOAX’
BARR: “Well, as I’ve said, if you were the President, I think you would view it as a witch hunt at the hoax because at the time he was saying he was innocent and that he was being falsely accused. And if you’re falsely accused, you would think that something was a witch hunt. I have to say, you know, when you step back and look at this, 2 1/2 years of this administration, three years of Trump campaign and the first part of his administration, he has been hammered for something — for allegedly conspiring with the Russians. We now know that was simply false.”
HEMMER: “Are you comfortable using those words, witch hunt, hoax?”
BARR: “I use what words I use, and it was an investigation. But I think if I had been falsely accused, I would be comfortable saying it was a witch hunt.”
Barr is “absolutely” okay with Mueller testifying.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT BEING ACCUSED OF LYING?
HEMMER: “Let’s move further into that aspect of this, because you are being heavily criticized by Democrats, by the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She believes you lied under oath. What do you think of that charge?”
BARR: “I think it’s a laughable charge and I think it’s largely being made to try to discredit me, partly because they may be concerned about the outcome of a review of what happened during the election.”
HEMMER: “What does that mean?”
BARR: “That means they may be trying to undermine my credibility, but obviously you can look at the face of my testimony and see on its face that there is nothing inaccurate about it.”