Sources have told the Associated Press that Attorney General William Barr is considering leaving the Justice Department after President Donald Trump “wouldn’t heed his warning to stop tweeting about Justice Department cases.”
Last week, Attorney General Bill Barr said Trump should stop tweeting about Justice Department matters because his tweets “make it impossible for me to do my job.” Trump essentially ignored Barr and claimed he has the “legal right” to intervene in criminal cases.
A resignation by Barr would be pretty damaging to Trump, who has experienced a high turnover rate for higher-level positions in his administration. Barr has been a strong advocate of Trump’s law-and-order agenda and is also a Trump ally. If he and Trump can’t work this issue out, the media and the Democrats would have a field day with it. Barr has reportedly been discussing his issues privately with Trump for weeks, but apparently to no avail.
Trump acknowledged to the media that he knows his tweets make Barr’s job harder, but gave no indication he plans to change course. Trump said that he has “total confidence in my attorney general” but insisted “everybody has the right to speak their mind.”
“And I probably wouldn’t have gotten here without social media because I certainly don’t get fair press,” he added.
“Yeah, I do make his job harder. I do agree with that. I think that’s true,” Trump continued. “He’s a very straight shooter. We have a great attorney general, and he’s working very hard. … But I will say this: Social media, for me, has been very important because it gives me a voice, because I don’t get that voice in the press. In the media, I don’t get that voice. So I’m allowed to have a voice.”
But, don’t expect Barr to be leaving any time soon. According to the report, it is “unclear how seriously Barr has considered resigning or whether he is instead trying to pressure Trump to back off his provocative tweets about the Justice Department.” But, according to Barr’s spokeswoman, the attorney general “has no plans to resign.”
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis