Barr on McGahn testimony: 'We haven't waived his privilege'

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrTrump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Cummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question MORE on Wednesday said it wasn’t clear that former White House counsel Don McGahn would testify to Congress, saying, “We haven’t waived his privilege.”

Barr’s use of the word “we” immediately created a storm on social media, with critics of Barr saying it highlighted how he has used his office as an extension of the White House.

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The remarks took place during an exchange between Barr and Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinOvernight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran Senators demand Trump explain decision to deploy troops amid Iran tensions Senators demand Trump explain decision to deploy troops amid Iran tensions MORE (D-Ill.) during high-profile Senate Judiciary Committee testimony.

Barr told lawmakers that McGahn was a “close adviser to the president" when asked whether he objected to him testifying before Congress. 

“Do you have any objections" to McGahn testifying? Durbin asked. 

“Yes, I think he is a close adviser to the president,” Barr answered.  

Mueller's final report, a redacted version of which Barr released on April 18, detailed nearly a dozen instances in which Trump may have obstructed justice. McGahn's testimony to the special counsel was featured extensively.

Mueller wrote that Trump directed McGahn to have Mueller fired based on alleged conflicts of interest, which the former White House counsel refused to carry out.

Democrats have subpoenaed McGahn to testify publicly before the House Judiciary Committee later this month. The White House has signaled plans to potentially fight the subpoena by asserting executive privilege. 

When pressed by Durbin on whether McGahn should be allowed to testify, Barr answered it would ultimately be up to President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE

“That’s a call for the president,” Barr said.