(CNN)Attorney General William Barr on Thursday rebuked President Donald Trump for publicly commenting on sensitive investigations but insisted the Justice Department had acted appropriately after an extraordinary falling out with career prosecutors who had handled the case of Roger Stone earlier this week.
In an interview with ABC News, Barr provided a robust defense of the department’s rank-and-file and said Trump’s online missives made it “impossible” to do his job.
“I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me,” Barr said.
“To have public statements and tweets made about the department, about people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we’re doing our work with integrity,” he said.
The criticism was a notable zag for Barr after days of mounting scrutiny over his role in the fraught decision to publicly disavow prosecutors who had sought a stiff punishment for Stone, a longtime friend of Trump. The President had tweeted congratulations Barr for the move, provoking protest from Democrats who demanded an investigation.
The four career attorneys who had worked on the Ston