Rosenstein: 'Bizarre' to say Barr misleading public on Mueller report

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Judge rules former WH counsel McGahn must testify under subpoena MORE defended Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrHolder rips into William Barr: 'He is unfit to lead the Justice Department' Five takeaways on Horowitz's testimony on Capitol Hill Budowsky: Would John McCain back impeachment? MORE's summary of the special counsel's report in an interview published Wednesday. 

“He’s being as forthcoming as he can, and so this notion that he’s trying to mislead people, I think, is just completely bizarre,” Rosenstein told The Wall Street Journal.

Barr last month released a four-page synopsis of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment Trump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts MORE's approximately 400-page report on his investigation into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election and whether the country colluded with the Trump campaign.

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Barr said investigators did not find that there was collusion and that Mueller's team did not make a decision on whether Trump obstructed justice, but that he and Rosenstein decline to pursue those charges. He has also said he planned to release a redacted version of the report by mid-April. 

“It would be one thing if you put out a letter and said, ‘I’m not going to give you the report,’" Rosenstein told the Journal.  “What he said is, ‘Look, it’s going to take a while to process the report. In the meantime, people really want to know what’s in it. I’m going to give you the top-line conclusions.’ That’s all he was trying to do.”

He added that the public should have “tremendous confidence” in Barr. 

Democrats have demanded the release of the full report. Barr also faced sharp criticism from Democrats after he suggested Wednesday that there was "spying" on the Trump campaign. He later walked back his remarks, saying that he was merely concerned that there may have been “improper surveillance” and that he was “looking into it.”

Rosenstein, who has worked at the Justice Department for almost 30 years, is expected to leave the department soon.