The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) vehemently denied fake news mainstream media reports claiming Attorney General (AG) William Barr is considering quitting his position over the president’s tweeting habits.
Several left-leaning news outlets, including the Washington Post and the Associated Press (AP), are trying to push the notion that there are irreconcilable differences between U.S. President Donald Trump and Barr.
DOJ, however, pushed against those allegations with Kerry Kupec, a top spokeswoman at the department, writing on Twitter Wednesday, “Addressing Beltway rumors: The Attorney General has no plans to resign.”
Addressing Beltway rumors: The Attorney General has no plans to resign.
— KerriKupecDOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) February 19, 2020
Kupec’s tweet came after the Washington Post, citing unnamed Trump administration officials, reported Tuesday that Barr “told people close to President Trump — both inside and outside the White House — that he is considering quitting over Trump’s tweets about Justice Department investigations.”
“He has his limits,” one of the anonymous Trump officials allegedly told the Post.
Barr “has told people close to him he’s considering quitting his post after President Donald Trump wouldn’t heed his warning to stop tweeting about Justice Department cases,” AP claimed to have learned from an anonymous Trump official.
The AG has urged the president to stop commenting publicly about ongoing cases.
Barr’s warning fell on deaf ears, and the president has continued to comment on ongoing federal cases via Twitter.
DOJ, however, stressed that Barr is not mulling leaving his post.
Furthermore, Trump praised Barr and conceded that his tweets are making it difficult for the AG to do his job, but he maintained that he has the authority to comment on ongoing cases.
“I do make his job harder. I do agree with that,” Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews as the president was preparing to fly to California. “He’s a very straight shooter. We have a great attorney general and he’s working very hard.
“The attorney general is a man with incredible integrity,” Trump added.
Still, the Post pointed out on Wednesday:
President Trump continued to test his relationship with Attorney General William P. Barr on Wednesday by amplifying conservative allies demanding he “clean house” at the Justice Department and target those involved in the Russia investigation that once threatened his presidency.
The grievances shared by Trump in a flurry of morning tweets included claims of a “seditious conspiracy” against him, and attacks on a “criminal gang” at the FBI and the Justice Department.
Some Republican lawmakers have urged Trump to listen to Barr about not tweeting about ongoing DOJ cases.
Trump’s tweet calling DOJ’s sentencing recommendation of Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime confidant, an overkill, and “miscarriage of justice” prompted Barr to urge the president to stop using the social media outlet to comment on ongoing cases.
Trump also thanked Barr for overruling the federal prosecutors’ recommendation of seven to nine years in prison, prompting claims of political interference in the DOJ, which Barr maintains remains independent.
Stressing that he decided Stone’s case before Trump’s criticism came to light, Barr recommended a lighter sentence for 67-year-old Stone, who stands convicted of obstructing a congressional investigation, making false statements to investigators, and tampering with witnesses in connection to the Russian collusion hoax probe.
Barr’s decision prompted the four prosecutors to withdraw from the case or leave the DOJ altogether.
On Thursday, a federal judge sentenced Stone to 40 months behind bars and ordered him to pay $20,000. Several news outlets suggest Trump is considering pardoning Stone, who has requested a retrial.