Skip to main content

AG Barr’s Pre-Mueller Report Press Conference Was a Total Farce

Why is no one thinking about Trump's feelings?

A photo illustration dated April 18, 2019 in Washington, DC shows an editor looking at a photograph of US Attorney General William Barr (L) speaking about the release of the redacted version of the Mueller report, juxtaposed with US President Donald Trump's latest tweet (R) "Game Over," using a "Game of Thrones" style montage that pictures him standing in dramatic fog.

It’s the day we’ve been waiting for! The day when we get to see the Mueller report William Barr stands up and tells us all how hard this has been for Donald Trump.

Okay, Barr did release a redacted version of Robert Mueller’s report to Congress and to the public (as well as a mostly unredacted version to select congressional leaders) about an hour after he gave a press conference which appeared to have the sole intention of pre-defending Trump. During that press conference, Barr repeated previous statements that Mueller did not find evidence that Trump, anyone on his campaign, or any other American colluded with the Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.

As for obstruction, in Barr’s initial summary, he said that Mueller’s report “does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” Today, he told reporters that he “disagreed with some of the Special Counsel’s legal theories,” though, not yet having the report in hand, the press had no way of knowing which theories he was talking about.

Just like with his initial report, Barr’s statements today allow the media to choose the framing that best fits the narrative they were already going to go with.

But Barr’s own narrative was clear. When speaking to the press, he didn’t sound like the Attorney General, he sounded like Trump’s personal attorney. His goal appeared to be defending Trump, rather than discussing the investigation unbiasedly.

Barr even went so far as to tell reporters that we need to look at the “context” of Trump’s actions which could be considered obstruction of Mueller’s investigation. He said that “as the Special Counsel’s report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the President was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks.”

Sure, maybe some of his actions were obstructiony, but he was really frustrated!

Barr, of course, denied that he was serving Trump more than the American people, or that he was offering a skewed perspective of Mueller’s findings.

Trump was back on his usual BS.

And Democrats are already making it clear that they’re not taking Barr’s word (or his redactions) at face value.

2019 sure is a lot, isn’t it?

(image: EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.