Barr denies 'impropriety' after reporter asks whether he's spinning Mueller report

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrFeinstein calls on Justice to push for release of Trump whistleblower report Clarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump Democrats to seek ways to compel release of Trump whistleblower complaint MORE said he didn’t believe it was inappropriate for him to make remarks on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE’s findings before their release Thursday.

Asked by Ryan Reilly of HuffPost if it was “an impropriety for you to come out and sort of spin the report before people are able to read it,” Barr succinctly replied, “No,” before ending the press conference shortly thereafter.

 

During the highly anticipated press conference, Barr said President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE had faced an “unprecedented situation” in the Mueller investigation and that the president was frustrated by a "sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks.”

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Media figures and congressional Democrats have questioned the appropriateness of Barr’s decision to hold the morning press conference ahead of releasing the full report both since the conference was announced Wednesday and in the wake of Barr's Thursday comments.

On Wednesday evening, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Nadler's House committee holds a faux hearing in search of a false crime Lewandowski says he's under no obligation to speak truthfully to the media MORE (D-N.Y.) said the press conference was “waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump.”

“Rather than letting the facts of the report speak for themselves, the attorney general has taken unprecedented steps to spin Mueller’s nearly 2-year investigation,” Nadler said.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsDC statehood push faces long odds despite record support Federal agency to resume processing some deferred-action requests for migrants Overnight Defense: Trump says he has 'many options' on Iran | Hostage negotiator chosen for national security adviser | Senate Dems block funding bill | Documents show Pentagon spent at least 4K at Trump's Scotland resort MORE (D-Md.) also blasted the announcement Wednesday night, accusing Barr of “debasing the rule of law, degrading our democratic institutions, and decimating any trust the American people have left in this Administration.”

Shortly after the press conference concluded, Fox News’s Chris Wallace opined that it had served to spin Mueller’s findings in Trump’s favor.

"The attorney general seemed almost to be acting as the counselor for the defense, the counselor for the president, rather than the attorney general, talking about his motives, his emotions," Wallace said.

Shortly after Barr finished, Nadler demanded Mueller should testify immediately before his committee and “no later than May 23.”