Attorney General William Barr has told people close to him he’s considering quitting his post after President Donald Trump wouldn’t heed his warning to stop tweeting about Justice Department cases, an administration official told The Associated Press.
The revelation came days after Barr took a public swipe at the president, saying in a television interview that Trump’s tweets about Justice Department cases and staffers make it “impossible” for him to do his job. The next day, Trump ignored Barr’s request and insisted that he has the “legal right” to intervene in criminal cases and sidestep the Justice Department’s historical independence.
Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he’s considering suing those involved in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and opined that his confidant Roger Stone deserved a new trial after being convicted of witness tampering and obstruction.
Barr, serving in his second stint as attorney general, sought to paint himself as an independent leader who would not bow to political pressure. But Democrats have repeatedly accused Barr of acting more like the president’s personal attorney than the attorney general. Barr proved to be a largely reliable Trump ally and defender of presidential power.
In recent days, a stream of Trump allies, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, have issued statements expressing their full confidence in the attorney general.
But Trump has a low tolerance for criticism, especially public criticism, from his allies and often fires back in kind.