McConnell Breaks With Trump, Backs Barr’s Remarks on Trump’s Tweeting About the DOJ

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is making a rare move as he is seemingly siding with Attorney General William Barr when it comes to the attorney general’s criticism of President Donald Trump’s tweeting habits.

Barr spoke to ABC News on Thursday where he said, “I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.”

The attorney general’s remarks come after Barr and Trump found themselves swept up in controversy after the Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted a new recommendation after federal prosecutors suggested a seven to nine year sentence for former Trump adviser Roger Stone. This resulted in all four prosecutors quitting the case.

It sparked outrage from several Democrats, as the DOJ’s announcement came shortly after Trump called it “a horrible and very unfair situation” in a tweet.

“Public statements and tweets made about the department … make it impossible for me to do my job, to assure the courts and the prosecutors and the department that we’re doing our work with integrity,” Barr said.

Check out Barr’s comments below:

Speaking on Fox News Thursday evening, McConnell said regarding Barr’s comments, “The president made a great choice when he picked Bill Barr to be attorney general. I think the president should listen to his advice.”

Asked if he has a problem with Trump’s tweeting, McConnell responded, “Maybe the president should listen to the attorney general.”

Watch McConnell’s interview below:

Additionally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) expressed his support for Barr.

“Attorney General Barr has my complete confidence,” the South Carolina senator tweeted on Thursday.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham responded in a statement to Barr’s interview, saying, “The President wasn’t bothered by the comments at all, and he has the right, just like any American citizen, to publicly offer his opinions.”

After the DOJ’s announcement, Trump congratulated Barr “for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought.”

Since then, Democratic lawmakers have suggested Trump “engaged in political interference in the sentencing of Roger Stone.”

However, Barr told ABC News that the consideration of revising the recommendation was already happening before Trump tweeted.

“This is an abuse of power, that the president is trying to manipulate federal law enforcement to serve his political interest,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at Thursday’s press conference.

Additionally, Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) told CNN on Thursday that she “would not be surprised” if Barr and Trump were “in cahoots.”

Barr will be testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on March 31, as IJR previously reported.