Trump hits back at NYTimes claim that Barr misled on Mueller report
President Trump on Thursday blasted The New York Times, claiming the outlet had “no legitimate sources” for its latest report that claimed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report was more damaging to the president that Attorney General William Barr revealed in his summary.
“The New York Times had no legitimate sources, which would be totally illegal, concerning the Mueller Report. In fact, they probably had no sources at all! They are a Fake News paper who have already been forced to apologize for their incorrect and very bad reporting on me!” Trump tweeted Thursday.
The president’s tweet comes after The New York Times published a story on Wednesday, claiming that prosecutors on Mueller’s team said that Barr’s summary of the report was insufficient and that the results of the investigation were more troubling for the president than the attorney general stated to the public last month.
Barr’s initial summary of Mueller’s more than 300-page report revealed that the special counsel found no evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians during the 2016 presidential election.
The special counsel was also reviewing whether the president had obstructed justice in any way, but ultimately did not come to a conclusion on that issue. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, instead, made the decision, saying that the evidence was “not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
Meanwhile, the Justice Department on Thursday pushed back on a separate report, published by The Washington Post, which stated that Barr did not release summary information that the special counsel team prepared and deemed appropriate for release.
A senior Justice Department official told Fox News that The Post’s reporting was “not true,” and claimed the outlet is guilty of “misreporting.”
“Every page of the ‘confidential report’ provided to Attorney General Barr on March 22, 2019 was marked ‘May Contain Material Protected Under Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)’ - a law that protects confidential grand jury information - and therefore could not be publicly released,” Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement to Fox News. “Given the extraordinary public interest in the matter, the Attorney General decided to release the report’s bottom-line findings and his conclusions immediately — without attempting to summarize the report — with the understanding that the report itself would be released after the redaction process.”
She added: “As the Attorney General stated in his March 29th letter to Chairman Graham and Chairman Nadler, he does not believe the report should be released in ‘serial or piecemeal fashion.’ The Department continues to work with the Special Counsel on appropriate redactions to the report so that it can be released to Congress and the public.”
Despite Barr’s decision to work with the special counsel to review the report and determine which areas contain sensitive material that needs redactions, House Democrats are calling for the full report, sans redactions, to be turned over to Congress for review.
The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., on Wednesday authorized subpoenas for the full Mueller report. The authorization does not issue subpoenas, but gives the panel the option to do so should they feel it necessary.
Barr has said he will release the report to Congress by mid-April, “if not sooner.”
Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.