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

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinSupreme Court to hear dispute over Democrats' access to Mueller materials Republicans release newly declassified intelligence document on FBI source Steele GOP's Obama-era probes fuel Senate angst MORE defended Attorney General William BarrBill BarrJustice Dept. considering replacing outgoing US attorney in Brooklyn with Barr deputy: report Ousted Manhattan US Attorney Berman to testify before House next week ACLU lawsuit calls on Barr to delay federal execution 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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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.