John Harwood Pronounces on Barr's ABC Interview: 'It Is Not Credible'

 John Harwood Pronounces on Barr's ABC Interview: 'It Is Not Credible'

John Harwood joined CNN Newsroom Friday morning to engage in some cynical goalpost-shifting after Attorney General Bill Barr’s Thursday interview with ABC where Barr urged President Trump to quit tweeting about controversial matters before the department.

After co-host Jim Sciutto asked Harwood what he thought the overall purpose of Barr’s interview was, Harwood declared that, “we don’t know, can’t know exactly what happened between the White House and the Justice Department.”

However, not knowing what happened, did not prevent Harwood from speculating, “we have every reason, this administration has given us every reason to be skeptical about the idea that this was some sort of spontaneous, independent step up by Bill Barr.”

Harwood proceed to list some of Barr’s alleged sins as attorney general, declaring that they discredit the idea that Barr is trying to maintain independence from Trump, “When you look at how he handled the Mueller report. When you look at how he has sort of set and investigate the investigators process in motion, it is not credible the idea that Bill Barr himself decided to rebuke the president and stand up for the independence of the Justice Department. That doesn’t seem to pass the test.”

After many months of the media criticizing Barr for being Trump’s wingman, the media should have cheered his interview with ABC. Instead they have declared it not good enough and have alleged it’s part of some effort to deceive critics, as Harwood illustrated when he declared:

I think what really happened is we’ve all made the analogy with respect to the rule of law about the frog in the warm water and the water gets turned up and all of a sudden before you know it, the frog is dead. Well, in this case, I think liberated by acquittal. The president’s abruptly turned the water up so hot that the frog jumped out of the water and that created a problem for Barr, a problem for the administration. I think he was trying to cauterize that problem with his remarks yesterday. 

A couple of hours later, Barr’s DOJ would decline to charge former Deputy Director of the FBI, CNN contributor, and perpetual Trump critic Andrew McCabe for lying to the feds.

Here is a transcript for the February 14 show:

CNN

CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto

9:03 AM ET

JIM SCIUTTO: John, you see the New York Times reporting this morning that the attorney general telegraphed this comment to the White House in advance. Is your sense that there was coordination here, or perhaps that he delivered a warning so that the president wasn’t caught off guard? 

JOHN HARWOOD: Well, Jim, I think Shimon was right on two points. One, we don’t know, can’t know exactly what happened between the White House and the Justice Department. But second, we have every reason, this administration has given us every reason to be skeptical about the idea that this was some sort of spontaneous, independent step up by Bill Barr. When you look at how he handled the Mueller report. When you look at how he has sort of set and investigate the investigators process in motion, it is not credible the idea that Bill Barr himself decided to rebuke the president and stand up for the independence of the Justice Department. That doesn’t seem to pass the test. I think what really happened is we’ve all made the analogy with respect to the rule of law about the frog in the warm water and the water gets turned up and all of a sudden before you know it, the frog is dead. Well, in this case, I think liberated by acquittal. The president’s abruptly turned the water up so hot that the frog jumped out of the water and that created a problem for Barr, a problem for the administration. I think he was trying to cauterize that problem with his remarks yesterday. 

 

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