On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman broke down the potential fallout of Attorney General William Barr's criticism of President Donald Trump's interference in criminal investigations.
"I do think Bill Barr felt like he had to say something," said Haberman. "I think it's remarkable he also said, this was my decision. I don't think we understand yet in terms of the [Roger] Stone case exactly what happened, and how it was that it went from seven to nine and what Barr knew to this recommendation for sentencing being changed. That will play out in the coming days, but he was facing enormous pressure within the Justice Department. He was facing threats of people either leaving or losing confidence in him."
"He had to say it, but there's no way that the president is going to hear those comments — from anything that any of us know of him over the last several years. I really can't see him hearing Bill Barr criticizing how he uses Twitter, which to him is so important and his form of independence in this job. I can't see him hearing that and saying, 'Yes, I get it. That's cool.'"
"The question is, what does he do?" said political analyst Gloria Borger. "What does the president do about it? Barr is his last friend and ally. He's had another attorney general he fired. So what does he do, facing this kind of criticism?"
"Remember, Gloria, he fired Sessions after almost two full years of simmering," said Haberman. "So we might get eight months up to reelection vote of the president simmering about Barr, we might get Barr leaving on his own, we might get nothing. I think the president recognizes it would be really traumatic for his administration to lose the attorney general right now, eight and a half months before Election Day. But that doesn't mean he's not going to be unhappy about this, and he's in this kind of phase of feeling unfettered after impeachment. This is not what he wants to hear."