As Bonchie and other contributors have covered, the Washington Post attempted to “gotcha” Attorney General Barr, reporting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller believed that a four-page summary of Mueller’s report sent to Congress “‘did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance’ of Mueller’s work,” and was so disturbed that he penned a letter to Barr “laying out his concerns in stark terms that shocked senior Justice Department officials.”
Near the end of the piece, the Post also reports (relying on unnamed sources) that Mueller admitted to Barr in a subsequent phone call that he didn’t dispute the accuracy of Barr’s letter to Congress, but “felt that media coverage of the letter was misinterpreting the investigation.” Though WaPo had obtained a copy of the letter itself, they didn’t publish it.
Attorney General Barr produced the letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee at the beginning of his testimony Wednesday and, under oath, more fully described his communications with Mueller.
Barr claims that Mueller was unhappy with press coverage of his letter, not the letter itself pic.twitter.com/tx6mNHO8tW
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 1, 2019
After telling the Committee about the letter he received from Mueller, Barr said (emphasis added):
“I called Bob and said, ‘What’s the issue here?’ I asked him if he was suggesting that the March 24 letter was inaccurate and he said no, but that the press reporting was inaccurate….
“I asked him specifically what his concern was. He said that his concern focused on his explanation of why he did not reach a conclusion on obstruction, and he wanted more put out on that issue. He wanted — he argued for putting out summaries of each volume, the executive summaries that had been written by his office, and, if not that, then other material that focused on the issue of why he didn’t reach the obstruction question.
“But he was very clear with me that he was not suggesting that we had misrepresented his report.”
That’s quite different than the angle the lefty talking heads – who seem to be incapable of realizing that Mueller was slamming them in his letter – were taking Tuesday night.
A lot of folks like Mueller’s stoic, Sphinx-like approach. But there’s a consequence to that style. If Mueller fears the public is getting the wrong idea from news coverage, he ought to come out and inform the public himself.https://t.co/buAz2zMPaT pic.twitter.com/tcX3aaambG
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) May 1, 2019
Of course, Mueller could have gone straight to the press to clarify the matter, as Jim Geraghty noted.