By: Paige Hubbard
In his first congressional testimony since releasing a redacted version of the report on April 18, U.S. Attorney General William Barr dismissed complaints from Special Counsel Robert Mueller that the attorney general had disclosed Mueller’s conclusions in his Russia investigation in an incomplete way. Illustrating tensions between the two men, Barr called a March 27 letter from Mueller “a bit snitty.”
Democrats asked Barr about the letter sent by Mueller to him in which the special counsel complained that Barr’s March 24 letter to lawmakers stating the inquiry’s main conclusions did not “fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work.”
He testified Mueller was unhappy with the way the conclusions were being characterized in the media, not his account of the conclusions, though the letter does not mention media coverage. Barr also said Mueller had asked him to make public summaries of the report’s findings prepared by the special counsel’s team to give the public a fuller idea of the report’s contents, but the attorney general refused.
“I’ll tell ya, we got to end this but I’m gonna write a letter to Mr. Mueller and ask him is there anything you said about that conversation he disagrees with? And if there is, he can come and tell us why. So the hearing is now over. Mr. Blumenthal, I promise you that if there is any, Mr. Mueller will have a chance to make sure that the conversation relayed by Attorney General Barr is accurate. And I’m gonna give him a chance to correct anything you said that he finds misleading or inaccurate — and that will be it,” said Senator Lindsey Graham.
“The letter is a bit snitty and I think it was probably written by a member of his staff,” Barr said.