Dem senator: 'I do not deeply respect and trust the Barr summary'

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) joined calls for the release of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s full report, saying on Tuesday that he did not trust Attorney General William BarrBill BarrThe job of shielding journalists is not finished Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote MORE’s summary of the findings. 

“The issue here is not just whether there was complicity [in Russia's election interference] that rose to a criminal level,” Blumenthal said on CNN’s “New Day.” “It’s about obstruction of justice, no exoneration there, and the judgment by William Barr may have been completely improper.”

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Asked if he trusted Barr to say something publicly about Mueller's report, Blumenthal responded that he trusted the attorney general to comment on his own four-page summary, but said he believed Barr should come forward to testify publicly on the report's findings.

"I do not deeply respect and trust the Barr summary, which was designed to frame the message before the information was available. And he succeeded in creating headlines," he said.

Blumenthal said a 2016 meeting involving Trump campaign officials and Russian nationals was itself evidence of collusion and noted that Barr, before his confirmation, had expressed his view that a sitting president cannot commit obstruction of justice.

"He indicated at the outset that he felt the president of the United States could never commit the crime of obstruction of justice. He was asked to recuse himself in light of that memo and the fact that he was a Trump appointee," the Democrat said.

Blumenthal's remarks came amid multiple calls from his Democratic colleagues asking for Mueller's report to be made public.

Rep. David CicillineDavid CicillineThe State Department should rethink its Turkey policy McCarthy jokes it'll be hard not to 'hit' Pelosi with gavel if he is Speaker Lobbying world MORE (D-R.I.) said Monday it was “impossible” to “write [Russian collusion] off completely” before reading Mueller’s full report.

A summary released Sunday by Barr said Mueller’s investigation found no evidence of coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.