Rosenstein Defends Barr: ‘This Notion That He’s Trying To Mislead People’ Is ‘Bizarre’

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: U.S. Attorney General William Barr (R) listens as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (L) introduces him during a Department of Justice African American History Month Observance Progr... WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: U.S. Attorney General William Barr (R) listens as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (L) introduces him during a Department of Justice African American History Month Observance Program at the Department of Justice February 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 11, 2019 6:53 p.m.
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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended Attorney General William Barr’s handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

Referring to Barr’s initial four-page summary of Mueller’s mammoth report, Rosenstein told the Journal that the attorney general was “being as forthcoming as he can, and so this notion that he’s trying to mislead people, I think is just completely bizarre.”

“It would be one thing if you put out a letter and said, ‘I’m not going to give you the report,’” Rosenstein told the Journal. “What he said is, ‘Look, it’s going to take a while to process the report. In the meantime, people really want to know what’s in it. I’m going to give you the top-line conclusions.’ That’s all he was trying to do.”

On Tuesday, Barr said a redacted version of Mueller’s final report would be ready “within a week.”

Rosenstein appointed Mueller in 2017, and on Thursday confirmed reports that he extended his stay at the Justice Department at Barr’s request. “For me, it’s a real privilege,” he said.

The public, Rosenstein told the Journal, should have “tremendous confidence” in the attorney general as he works with Mueller’s team to make redactions to the report.

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