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Attorney General Barr Responds To Reports On Possible Resignation
US Attorney General William Barr speaks at the Securities and Exchange Commission's Criminal Coordination Conference in Washington, DC, on October 3, 2019
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney General William Barr, through his spokesperson at the Department of Justice, indicated late on Tuesday night that he does not have any plans to resign from the department.

Barr spokeswoman Kerri Kupec wrote on Twitter: “Addressing Beltway rumors: The Attorney General has no plans to resign.”

Barr’s response came after CNN, The Washington Post, and The Associated Press reported on Tuesday night that Barr had privately told those close to him that he was considering quitting because of President Donald Trump’s tweets about Justice Department matters.

The Washington Post reported:

The administration officials said Barr seemed to be sharing his position with advisers in hopes the president would get the message that he should stop weighing in publicly on the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigations.

Barr had a previously scheduled lunch with the White House counsel Tuesday and was still the attorney general by day’s end — indicating that the president’s moves that day were not enough to push him to resign.

Barr told ABC News last week that Trump’s tweets were very “disruptive” to the department, saying, “I think the essential role of the Attorney General is to keep law enforcement, the criminal process sacrosanct to make sure there is no political interference in it.”

“And I’m happy to say that, in fact the president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case,” Barr continued. “However, to have public statements and tweets made about the department, about our people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department, and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and ”

I am responsible for everything that happens in the department, but the thing I have most responsibility for are the issues that are brought to me for decision,” Barr added. “And I will make those decisions based on what I think is the right thing to do and I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody. And I said, whether it’s Congress, newspaper editorial boards, or the president. I’m going to do what I think is right. And, you know, the, I think the — I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

While talking to reporters on Tuesday, Trump acknowledged that his tweets do make it tougher for Barr to do his job.

“Yeah, I do make his job harder,” Trump told reporters. “I do agree with that. I think that’s true. He’s a very straight shooter. We have a great Attorney General, and he’s working very hard. And he’s working against a lot of people that don’t want to see good things happen, in my opinion.”

“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,” Trump continued. “In the media, I don’t get that voice.  So I’m allowed to have a voice.”

This report has been updated to include additional information.

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