Attorney General William Barr argued that President Donald Trump had not obstructed justice because he was justifiably angry that various investigations into his actions were undermining his presidency.
The attorney general revealed that special counsel Robert Mueller examined 10 instances of possible obstruction, but Barr said he and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein simply disagreed with the investigation’s legal theories — and dismissed them.
Twitter users immediately howled in protest.
In case you missed it, the attorney-general of the United States just blamed the media for the president's obstruction of justice. This is just completely fcking amazing.
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) April 18, 2019
Never thought I would hear an AG stand up and make excuses for a president’s repeated attacks on DOJ and it’s lawful investigations. Such a shameful performance.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) April 18, 2019
The Attorney General of the United States just defended obstruction because of the President's hurt feelings.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) April 18, 2019
I'll say this — Barr is *easily* the best Press Secretary Trump has ever hired.
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) April 18, 2019
omfg. Attorney General Barr just defended Trump's obstruction — because Trump was "frustrated."
— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) April 18, 2019
This is NEWS here. AG gives President early secret access to report investigating him. Denies coequal branch of government such access. https://t.co/4J8U0GeLCO
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) April 18, 2019
the fix is in https://t.co/sNfd5MJ1jK
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) April 18, 2019
Barr is embarrassing his office today.
— Garrett M. Graff (@vermontgmg) April 18, 2019
Trump always wanted an attorney general who would “protect him” and he got one in William Barr.
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) April 18, 2019
Barr is now issuing what amounts to a White House press release. Even if these are his heartfelt views, this will be seen as deeply inappropriate. The point of Mueller was that he wasn’t hired by Trump.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) April 18, 2019
Everybody knows you can’t obstruct justice if you’re frustrated. It says so write there in the big book of made-up laws and partisan coverup bullshit.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) April 18, 2019
Barr seems to be arguing that while Trump tried to obstruct justice, that was totally understandable because a lot of people were criticizing him and that made him mad.
— Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) April 18, 2019
Good news, everyone: The president isn't a crook, he just couldn't handle the pressure of his situation without blowing several gaskets. https://t.co/wUBXPyhZ8u
— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) April 18, 2019
Training your whole life, from being a loutish teen at an elite boarding school on into your bulky lawyerly fifties, for the moment when you're called upon to stand up on TV and explain that the president "sometimes gets upset because of how rude people are to him."
— David Roth (@david_j_roth) April 18, 2019
Again, Barr's presence as AG in this moment IS PART OF THE ONGOING EFFORT TO OBSTRUCT JUSTICE. He replaced Sessions who, though evil & awful & eager to persecute immigrants, did not pass Trump's loyalty test. This entire situation is a farce. It's what dictatorships do. https://t.co/nMSDh05lAY
— Bree Newsome Bass (@BreeNewsome) April 18, 2019
Henhouse safe and under control, according to fox. pic.twitter.com/ocwl7XdHeQ
— Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) April 18, 2019