Marc Short, chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, insists that the White House still has confidence in Attorney General Bill Barr even after he told ABC News Thursday that President Trump’s tweets make it “impossible” for him to do his job.
Barr said during his interview with ABC News Thursday that he thinks “it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” which includes Trump’s tweet congratulating Barr for “taking charge” of Roger Stone’s case after the Justice Department announced that it would lessen its prosecutors’ original sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years in prison. Barr then denied that he was compelled to reduce Stone’s sentencing recommendation from the President’s social media statements.
When asked why Barr felt the need to criticize Trump’s tweets, Short responded that he doesn’t think the tweets make it impossible for Barr to do his job and that he maintains confidence within the White House.
“In fact I think that the Attorney General Barr is doing a great job,” Short said. “He has a lot of confidence inside the White House.”
Short went on to argue that “the President’s frustration is one that a lot of the Americans have which feels like the scales of justice are not balanced anymore,” citing Stone’s initial nine-year prison sentence and the “lucrative” contract of Andrew McCabe, whose leak case was dropped by the Justice Department Friday, at CNN.
When asked whether he thinks it’s unusual for the attorney general in any administration to essentially tell the President to back off, Short reiterated that Barr has Trump’s support.
“I’m not going to tell you it’s not unusual, but I think that he does enjoy the support of the President, and I think that again, the concern that we have is the sense is that we feel that the scales of justice are not the same,” Short said. “What we have been seeing again and again is that the Department of Justice has been politicized and the Attorney General Barr is trying to correct that.”
Asked about his response to Trump not listening to Barr by tweeting about the Justice Department’s decision to not prosecute McCabe, Short said that the President’s ability to “communicate directly to the American people through the social media outlet” is “one of the things that the people love about him.”
Watch Short’s remarks below:
Marc Short: AG Barr has "a lot of confidence" inside the White House pic.twitter.com/LkVPCw6KZp
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) February 16, 2020