Attorney General William Barr sparred with a reporter during a brief press conference Thursday in which he laid out the release of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into the Russia probe.
During his prepared statement to the press, Barr explained his and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s decision to clear President Donald Trump of any obstruction in relation to Mueller’s investigation. He said that Trump faced “an unprecedented situation.”
BARR AFFIRMS MUELLER PROBE FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF RUSSIA-TRUMP COLLUSION, PREPARES TO RELEASE REPORT
“As he entered office and sought to perform his responsibilities as president, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office and the conduct of some of his associates,” Barr read of his statement, adding that there was “relentless speculation” in the media about the president’s culpability. “Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact, no collusion.”
In her question to Barr, a female reporter brought up his use of the word “unprecedented” and how his comments were “quite generous to the president and his feelings and emotions.”
“It just seems like there is a lot effort – to go out of your way to acknowledge how this was difficult for him,” she added.
Barr appeared to bristle at the question, responding with his own: “Is there another precedent for it?”
“No,” the reporter answered.
“OK so unprecedented is an accurate description,” he said.
The reporter tried to ask Barr about people who are concerned that he is trying to protect the president.
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Barr did not acknowledge her question and moved on.
The attorney general said Thursday that his department would be released the lightly redacted report to the public by 11 a.m. that morning.