McConnell Says It Five Times: Trump Should Listen to AG Barr

By Susan Jones | February 14, 2020 | 5:37am EST
President Donald Trump speaks alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in September 2017. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in September 2017. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says President Donald Trump "made a great choice when he picked Bill Barr to be attorney general," and he told Fox News five times on Thursday that Trump "should listen" to what Barr is saying.

Earlier on Thursday, Barr told ABC News: “I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.”

“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody...whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president,” Barr told ABC's Pierre Thomas:  “I’m going to do what I think is right. And you know...I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

President Trump sparked controversy earlier this week when he tweeted his outrage about the recommended 7- to 9-year prison sentence for his friend Roger Stone, shortly before news broke that Barr had overruled the sentence recommended by career Justice Department prosecutors. Four of the prosecutors quit the case in protest.

Fox News's Bret Baier asked McConnell if he also is troubled by Trump's tweeting:

"I think if the attorney general says it's getting in the way of doing his job, maybe the president should listen to the attorney general," McConnell replied.

Baier tried again: "So do you think the tweet about his opinion on the Roger Stone sentencing recommendations is inappropriate political interference?"

"Well, the attorney general has said it's making it difficult for him to do his job," McConnell said. "I think the president ought to listen to the attorney general. But -- he's an outstanding law enforcement officer. He's -- he's the top person in -- in the country. The president made a wise selection in picking Bill Barr. They ought to listen to him."

Baier asked McConnell if he's concerned that Trump has "somehow politicized the Department of Justice."

"Well, I hate to keep saying the same thing over and over again," McConnell started to say.

"OK, I got you," Baier interrupted. "Listen to the attorney general."

"Yes," McConnell said

Baier pressed McConnell for his own views on the politicization of the Justice Department:

"Look, he picked -- he's picked -- I think the attorney general knows what he's talking about," McConnell said. "I'm not the attorney general, but I have confidence in Bill Barr. I think he's doing a good job, and I think he's told the president this is not helpful, making it difficult for him to do his job. I think the president ought to listen to him."

The Justice Department said the DOJ decision to withdraw the recommended sentence for Roger Stone was made before Trump's tweets, not in response to them, but Democrats are now demanding an investigation of Barr.

McConnell also told Fox News that in his opinion, impeachment is “more likely to be a routine matter” from now on, whenever the opposition party has policy differences with the president.

He said the fact that some Democrats are now mentioning the word impeachment in connection with Attorney General Bill Barr “only proves my point.”

“And the Founders didn't want the House to constantly be doing an impeachment resolution because they had a policy difference or didn't like somebody. And I think it's pretty clear the House Democrats just don't like the president,” McConnell said.


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