A CNN panel on Thursday crushed Attorney General Bill Barr for currying favor with President Donald Trump and working to preemptively spin special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on interference in the 2016 presidential election.
During the discussion, CNN legal analyst Laura Coates called out Barr for feeding into partisan talking points by hinting that illegal “spying” took place on the Trump campaign in 2016 — despite the fact hat he then admitted he had no evidence to back up his claims.
“To me, this was a shocking thing for Barr to do,” Coates said. “It was unnecessary if he wasn’t going to talk about what he chose to mention, and it was inappropriate because it was unsubstantiated and still is!”
“It’s more than inappropriate,” replied John Avlon. “This slip of the tongue, imprecise language by the attorney general who ought to know better, dovetails with the White House’s talking points, which is, ‘Investigate the investigators.'”
CNN’s David Gregory also thought it as astonishing that there would be such a large gap in time between Barr’s press conference on the report and the release to the public — which could give Trump plenty of time to spin the report to his own ends.
“Imagine the specter — you could have a president live-tweeting while he’s reading this report,” Gregory said. “He could just say, ‘Go to page 325, this just shows you what a hoax this whole thing was!'”