Attorney General William Barr brushed off efforts by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other Democrats to discredit him, claiming that they might be “concerned about the outcome of a review.”
In a wide-ranging interview from El Salvador with Fox News’ Bill Hemmer, Barr said that accusations that he lied under oath are “laughable,” and that Democrats are scrambling ahead of the outcome of his review of FBI/DOJ conduct surrounding the 2016 US election.
On May 2, Pelosi accused Barr of lying under oath – saying “The attorney general of the United States did not tell the truth to the Congress. That’s a crime.”
Barr ribbed Pelosi during a Wednesday sideline at a Capitol Hill event – asking the House Speaker if she had “Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?” according to a source who witnessed the conversation.
Pelosi smiled, and replied that “the House Sergeant at Arms was present at the ceremony should an arrest be necessary.”
Steele Dossier and “Strange developments” after the 2016 election
Hemmer: “Can you tell us what the Steele dossier had to do with it? What role did that play?”
Barr: “That’s one of the questions we’re going to have to do that. It’s a very unusual situation to have opposition research like that – especially one that on its face had a number of clear mistakes and a somewhat jejue analysis. And to use that to conduct counterintelligence against the American political campaign would be a strange development.
Hemmer: “Do you smell a rat in this at this point?”
Barr: “I would just say that the answers I’m getting are not sufficient.”
Barr was then asked about the period after the election.
Hemmer: “In the period of time between election day and the inauguration, did anyone in government or in intelligence, did they take action to justify their decisions?”
Barr: “I think there were some very strange developments during that period. That’s one of the things we want to look into.”
Hemmer: “Such as?”
“Such as the handling of the media on January 6, between the Intelligence chiefs and the President, and the leaking of information subsequent to that meeting,” referring to former FBI Director James Comey’s decision to brief President Trump on the Steele Dossier – which gave CNN and BuzzFeed justification to publish and report on it.
Barr also says he doesn’t blame Trump for calling the investigation a “witch hunt,” and defended the White House’s cooperation with the Mueller probe by providing “millions” of pages of information – finding it “more than satisfactory.”
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