President Donald Trump insisted in a tweet Friday that he has a “legal right” to demand that Attorney General William Barr intervene in a federal criminal case — just hours after the Justice Department chief asserted that the president’s social media posts “make it impossible for me to do my job.”
“‘The President has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.’ A.G. Barr,” Trump wrote, paraphrasing the attorney general’s remarks in an interview with ABC News that aired Thursday.
But Trump added: “This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!”
The president’s tweet represents the latest escalation in a controversy regarding the case against Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime informal political adviser, that has consumed the Justice Department and provoked a rare display of public disapproval by Barr toward his boss.
“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” the attorney general told ABC News.
Barr’s rebuke of Trump’s online conduct came after the president tweeted his displeasure Tuesday with federal prosecutors’ seven-to-nine-year sentencing proposal for Stone.