President Trump agreed Tuesday with Attorney General William Barr’s claim that his incessant tweeting, particularly as it relates to ongoing DOJ cases, makes the job of the attorney general more difficult.
“I do make his job harder. I do agree with that. I think that’s true,” Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
“Everybody has the right to speak their mind. I use social media. I guess I use it well because here I am,” Trump said. “I probably would not have gotten here without social media, because I certainly don’t get fair press.”
The attorney general expressed frustration last week after Trump complained on Twitter that the prosecutors’ seven-to-nine-year sentencing recommendation for his longtime adviser Roger Stone was a “horrible and very unfair situation.”
Afterwards, the Justice Department submitted a revised filing stating that the prosecutors’ recommended lengthy sentence “could be considered excessive and unwarranted,” sparking allegations that Trump was influencing Barr.
“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr said, but added that he is not being “bullied or influenced” by anyone regarding any DOJ cases.
Stone was convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia. All four of the prosecutors who recommended Stone’s seven-to-nine-year sentence either resigned or quit the case after the DOJ weighed in.
Despite Barr’s criticism of the president’s public remarks, Trump insisted Tuesday that he still has “total confidence” in Barr, whom he added has “incredible integrity.”
Trump added that he “never spoke” to Barr about the Stone case.
“He’s a very straight shooter. We have a great attorney general, and he is working very hard,” Trump said. “And he’s working against a lot of people that don’t want to see good things happen, in my opinion. That’s my opinion, not his opinion. You will have to ask what his opinion is.”
“Social media for me has been very important,” the president added. “I’m allowed to have a voice.”