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AG William Barr publicly admonishes President Trump, says tweets are making his job 'impossible'

The interview reportedly came as a surprise to the White House

Attorney General William Barr (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Attorney General William Barr criticized President Donald Trump in an interview on Thursday, saying the president's tweets about the Department of Justice "make it impossible for me to do my job."

What are the details?

"I think it's time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases," Barr told ABC News in an exclusive interview, adding that such messages "make it impossible to do my job."

Barr has faced ridicule and even calls from Democrats to step down in recent days, after the DOJ intervened on Tuesday to recommend a reduced sentence for President Trump's friend Roger Stone.

Just before 1:00 a.m. on the day the DOJ stepped in, the president tweeted that the initial recommendation of seven to nine years of incarceration for Stone "is a horrible and very unfair situation," adding, "cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!"

Critics pounced on the timing of the tweet and suggested the president instructed Barr to intervene in Stone's sentencing. The president denied reaching out to the DOJ regarding Stone.

During the interview with ABC, Barr also denied that the president had any involvement in the decision to recommend a lesser sentence for Stone. In fact, Barr said he himself gave the instructions to staff Monday night before the president tweeted about the situation, putting Barr in a difficult spot the next day.

"Do you go forward with what you think is the right decision or do you pull back because of the tweet?" Barr said in the interview. "And that just sort of illustrates how disruptive these tweets can be."

Barr added, "I'm not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody ... whether it's Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president. I'm gonna do what I think is right. And you know ... I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me."

According to ABC News, the White House did not offer an immediate comment on the Barr interview, but reported that "senior level White House sources insisted to ABC News that the president and top aides were unaware of Barr's intentions in the interview and were informed of the content only just before it aired."

Anything else?

Attorney General Barr has also agreed to testify before the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee on March 31, to answer questions about the Stone case and a litany of other issues raised by the panel.

One last thing…
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