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Thu Apr 18, 2019, 11:20 AM

The attorney general just pre-spun the Mueller report for Trump

The attorney general just pre-spun the Mueller report for Trump
Barr spun everything in Trump’s favor — and literally walked offstage when he was called on it.
By Zack Beauchamp@zackbeauchampzack@vox.com Apr 18, 2019, 10:17am EDT

Attorney General William Barr’s Thursday morning press conference on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia report was a whitewash.

There’s no other way to describe it.
Barr, who claimed beforehand that the press conference would focus on process, spun the report’s conclusions before it was released and expected reporters to ask questions about a document they had not even seen. He literally uttered the phrase “no collusion” to describe Mueller’s conclusions — providing a perfect sound bite to play on loop on cable news in the president’s favorite phrasing.

Barr repeated this and similar talking points multiple times during his prepared statement. He put tremendous effort into explaining why Trump’s behavior during the probe should be seen as justified and in no way constituted obstruction. He even praised the president for providing “unfettered access” to documents and said the White House “fully cooperated” with the investigation, despite Trump’s refusal to submit to an interview with Mueller.

At the end, when a reporter asked if it was improper for the attorney general to spin the report to the public before it was released, Barr literally walked off the stage.



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