Administration

Trump AG pick: I won't be 'bullied' by anyone, including the president

President Trump's nominee for attorney general, William Barr, on Tuesday said that he wouldn't allow himself to be influenced or "bullied" by anyone, including President Trump.

"I'm not going to do anything that I think was wrong, and I won't be bullied into doing anything that I think is wrong, whether it be editorial boards or Congress or the president," Barr said during his nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"I'm going to do what I think is right," he added.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), citing the president's repeated criticism of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, had asked Barr why he would want the job if he could be subjected to the same kind of remarks.

"[Sessions] was subjected to unrelenting criticism because he decided ... he had a conflict of interest," Durbin said, citing Sessions's decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russia election interference.

"When you consider this president has lashed out on a personal basis against federal judges who rule against his administration ... when you consider the exit lanes flooded from the White House ... why do you want this job?" the Illinois Democrat asked.

Barr said he wanted the job because he "loves the department."

He also referred to the FBI and Department of Justice as "critical institutions that are essential to preserving the rule of law" and the "heartbeat" of U.S. law enforcement.

And he added that he believes that he is in a position, as he does not have future political ambitions, to carry out the job in an independent manner.

"I feel that I'm in a spot in life where I can provide the leadership necessary to protect the independence and the reputation of the department and serve in this administration," Barr said.

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