House

Barr backtracks on question about president accepting foreign assistance in election

Attorney General William Barr 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 Cicilline (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. 

“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. 

Cicilline also slammed Barr for “mischaracterizing” former special counsel Robert Mueller’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 Trump’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 Stone and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Tags David Cicilline Donald Trump foreign interference Robert Mueller Roger Stone Russian interference William Barr
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