Rosenstein: 'Bizarre' to say Barr misleading public on Mueller report

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinRosenstein: ‘Bizarre’ to say Barr misleading public on Mueller report Comey: ‘I accept that Bill Barr’s letter accurately portrays’ Mueller report The Hill’s Morning Report – Female candidates search for liftoff in 2020 presidential race MORE defended Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrRosenstein: ‘Bizarre’ to say Barr misleading public on Mueller report Hillicon Valley: Assange faces US charges after arrest | Trump says WikiLeaks ‘not my thing’ | Uber officially files to go public | Bezos challenges retail rivals on wages | Kremlin tightens its control over internet Dems say attorney general undermined credibility with Trump talking point MORE‘s summary of the special counsel’s report in an interview published Wednesday. 

“He’s being as forthcoming as he can, and so this notion that he’s trying to mislead people, I think, is just completely bizarre,” Rosenstein told The Wall Street Journal.

Barr last month released a four-page synopsis of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE‘s approximately 400-page report on his investigation into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election and whether the country colluded with the Trump campaign.

Barr said investigators did not find that there was collusion and that Mueller’s team did not make a decision on whether Trump obstructed justice, but that he and Rosenstein decline to pursue those charges. He has also said he planned to release a redacted version of the report by mid-April. 

“It would be one thing if you put out a letter and said, ‘I’m not going to give you the report,’” Rosenstein told the Journal.  “What he said is, ‘Look, it’s going to take a while to process the report. In the meantime, people really want to know what’s in it. I’m going to give you the top-line conclusions.’ That’s all he was trying to do.”

He added that the public should have “tremendous confidence” in Barr. 

Democrats have demanded the release of the full report. Barr also faced sharp criticism from Democrats after he suggested Wednesday that there was “spying” on the Trump campaign. He later walked back his remarks, saying that he was merely concerned that there may have been “improper surveillance” and that he was “looking into it.”

Rosenstein, who has worked at the Justice Department for almost 30 years, is expected to leave the department soon.

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