Attorney General William Barr’s interview on ABC News rebuking President Donald Trump for tweeting about ongoing criminal cases has fueled speculation that the president may be losing control over a man renowned for twisting the machinery of the Justice Department to suit political whims.
But not so fast, suggested former Republican National Committee chairman and Trump critic Michael Steele. This whole event could have been orchestrated with the White House, to calm fears at the DOJ and prevent another wave of resignations by career prosecutors:
Slow your roll if you think Barr is breaking from Trump. This was a carefully staged message to cool down pissed off DOJ attys whom Barr undercut & to avoid any further internal strife. This message does not get sideways with Trump because he’s already done what Trump wanted. https://t.co/jYWYJFovpO
— Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) February 14, 2020
The White House was reportedly caught unaware by Barr’s interview — but whether the attorney general let the president himself know beforehand is unclear. For the time being, at least, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham insists the president is not upset by Barr’s remarks.