Barr’s pre-Mueller report press conference is an exercise in ‘spin’: Ex-federal prosecutor
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General nominee William Barr attends a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 9, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti told CNN that attorney general William Barr's hastily-called press conference in advance of the release of the Mueller report will be an exercise in "spin" as Barr continues to "take heat" for what many expect to be a report redacted to the point of a whitewash.


"'Light redactions,'" said host Chris Cuomo, teeing up the conversation. "That was put out last night to counter all the heat that was on this process. 'Don't worry, they are only going to be light redactions.' What does that mean to you?"

"I will be very surprised if there's light redactions in the collusion," Mariotti said. "There, there's much more justification."

"I frankly don't think there's much justification for any redactions in the obstruction section," he continued. "Frankly, I'm surprised there's any redactions there, that struck me as spin because Barr has been taking some heat."

"I wonder whether the press conference has changed," Mariotti added with a chuckle. "Originally it was framing the report, now it's framing what Barr did because they're getting some pushback, and rightfully so."

Consequently, Mariotti said, Americans "should be skeptical" about Barr's results, and gave an example of how the attorney general may try to deceive the public.

"One of the things I will look for is the sentences that Barr quoted half of in that letter," he said. "What's the full sentence and why didn't he include the full sentence in his letter? What is the full picture? That's what I think people should be looking for today."

Watch the video below.