After a day of lashing out at critics on Twitter, Trump is oddly quiet after AG Barr issued a rare public rebuke
- Attorney General William Barr issued a rare public rebuke of the president after Trump made demands from the Justice Department regarding the Roger Stone case.
- "I think it's time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases," Barr told ABC News, because it "make[s] it impossible for me to do my job."
- Trump remained uncharacteristically quiet about Barr's criticism, after spending the morning attacking former White House chief of staff John Kelly and 2020 presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.
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Attorney General William Barr blasted President Donald Trump for his recent tweets regarding Roger Stone's case, saying he is "not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody."
"I think it's time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases," Barr told ABC News, because the tweets "make it impossible for me to do my job."
It was a rare rebuke from the Trump ally - one that typically could prompt a barrage of tweet attacks from the president.
But Trump reportedly "wasn't bothered by the comments at all."
"He has the right, just like any American citizen, to publicly offer his opinions," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. "President Trump uses social media very effectively to fight for the American people against injustices in our country, including the fake news.
"The President has full faith and confidence in Attorney General Barr to do his job and uphold the law."
Trump's cool-headedness comes after a tweetstorm of insults lobbed at former White House chief of staff John Kelly and 2020 presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.
It's not the first time a Trump ally spoken against the president - Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina slammed Trump's decision to pull US troops from Syria.
The president responded to Graham's criticism, saying the senator should focus more on chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee rather than concerning himself with the war in the Middle East.
Prior to Barr's rebuke of Trump on ABC News, the president praised the attorney general for "taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought.
"Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted," Trump tweeted. "Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!"
Earlier this week, Trump tweeted complaints regarding the sentencing memo offered by federal prosecutors in Roger Stone's case. Stone, a longtime Trump confidant, was found guilty on seven counts, including obstruction of justice, false statements, and witness tampering.
On February 10, federal prosecutors recommended seven to nine years in prison.
After Trump's tweet, DOJ officials publicly overruled the sentencing recommendation and told reporters they would seek a lesser sentence. In response, all four of the prosecutors on Stone's case resigned from the case, followed by now former US attorney Jessie Liu.
Trump's tweets, alongside Barr's decision to intervene in the case, led former DOJ officials to worry about the president's undue influence over the Justice Department.
"I'm not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody….whether it's Congress, newspaper editorial boards, or the president," Bill Barr tells @ABC News.- ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 13, 2020
"I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me." https://t.co/14rnEMD65c pic.twitter.com/QuoTgpUVHp
When I terminated John Kelly, which I couldn't do fast enough, he knew full well that he was way over his head. Being Chief of Staff just wasn't for him. He came in with a bang, went out with a whimper, but like so many X's, he misses the action & just can't keep his mouth shut,.- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2020
Mini Mike is a 5'4" mass of dead energy who does not want to be on the debate stage with these professional politicians. No boxes please. He hates Crazy Bernie and will, with enough money, possibly stop him. Bernie's people will go nuts!- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2020