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Barr backtracks on question about president accepting foreign assistance in election

Attorney General William BarrBill BarrGarland rescinds Trump-era memo curtailing consent decrees Boehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Dominion: Ex-Michigan state senator 'sowing discord in our democracy' with election fraud claims MORE changed course and stated that it is not appropriate for a presidential candidate to accept foreign assistance after he initially responded to a question from a Democratic congressman stating it “depends” on the assistance. 

Rep. David CicillineDavid CicillineHouse committee approves Big Tech antitrust blueprint House lawmakers fired up for hearing with tech CEOs Democratic lawmakers propose B hike for State MORE (D-R.I.) asked Barr during a Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday if it is ever appropriate for a president to solicit or accept foreign assistance in an election. 

“It depends what kind of assistance,” Barr responded. 

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“Is it ever appropriate for the president or presidential candidate to accept or solicit foreign assistance of any kind in his or her election?” Cicilline pressed. 

“No, it’s not appropriate,” Barr responded. 

“OK, sorry you had to struggle with that one,” the congressman replied. 

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Cicilline also slammed Barr for “mischaracterizing” former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE’s findings on Russian interference in the 2016 election before Barr released the full report. 

The congressman also said Barr delayed the release of the full report, “leaving the American people stewing with your misleading summary in support of President TrumpDonald TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE's bogus claims of ‘no collusion, no corruption.' ”

The attorney general defended himself throughout the hearing against Democratic accusations trying to paint him as a Trump loyalist, including over his handling of high-profile cases involving Trump’s friends, Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneOn The Money: Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats | Justice Dept. sues Trump ally Roger Stone for unpaid taxes Justice Dept. sues Trump ally Roger Stone for unpaid taxes Oath Keepers founding member pleads guilty in Jan. 6 riot case MORE and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.