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

Attorney General William BarrBill BarrEnergized Trump probes pose problems for Biden Pavlich: Biden can't ignore defund the police contributions to violent crime spike Progressives slam Garland for DOJ stances on Trump-era cases 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 DurbinDick Durbin'Killibuster': Democratic angst grows as filibuster threatens agenda Biden administration to back bill ending crack, powder cocaine sentence disparity: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats await Manchin decision on voting rights bill 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 TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE

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