White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley insisted that President Trump isn’t ignoring Attorney General Bill Barr’s request that he stop tweeting about criminal cases, during an interview Wednesday on Fox News.
The Washington Post first reported Tuesday night that Barr has privately told administration officials that he’s mulling a resignation in the wake of Trump’s tweets criticizing the DOJ’s sentencing recommendation in the Roger Stone case. However, Barr spokesperson Kerri Kupec denied the report in a late Tuesday night tweet. The Post’s report came almost a week after Barr told ABC News that Trump’s tweets about Justice Department cases make it “impossible” to do his job.
When asked about reports that Barr is considering resigning over his tweets, Gidley said that Trump has made clear that he has “a good working relationship” with Barr, adding that the attorney general has been “doing an incredible job.”
Gidley then denied that Trump is ignoring his attorney general by continuing to tweet, pointing to Trump’s admission to reporters at Joint Base Andrews Tuesday that he makes Barr’s job harder by tweeting.
“We don’t have to wonder what’s going on in private — we’ve seen this play out in public,” Gidley said. “The attorney general has made his feelings known about the President’s tweets. The President has also made his feelings known about the attorney general and his right to comment. Listen, everyone in this country has the First Amendment right to say what they want to say to defend themselves.”
Pressed again about whether Trump is ignoring the man he nominated, Gidley doubled down on his denial by saying that he isn’t privy to the private conversations between the President and Barr, but that they seem to be “playing out pretty well in public.”
“They both made their opinions well known. I’m not saying the President is ignoring the attorney general,” Gidley said. “What I’m saying, though, is the President has the right to defend himself just like any other American citizen. He has done it before and I’m sure he will do it again.”
Watch Gidley’s remarks below:
Gidley: "I'm not saying that the President is ignoring the attorney general. What I'm saying, though, is the President has the right to defend himself just like any other American citizen." pic.twitter.com/YEVqQC2JsM
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) February 19, 2020