Fox News host Chris Wallace has admitted Bill Barr appeared to be acting in the President’s defence, following the Mueller report findings where Donald Trump was cleared of Russian collusion during his 2016 presidential election campaign. Mr Wallace claimed the Attorney General seemed to be “making a case” for President Trump, and acting as his “counsellor”. Speaking on Fox News, the presenter explained: “Historically Attorney Generals are one of the most sensitive positions that a president appoints. Frankly, they put somebody they really trust in that position because often times it’s somebody who is going to protect them form getting in trouble. You can go back to John Mitchell in the Nixon years, you can go to Eric Holder in the Obama years.
“Obviously the President was very frustrated with the actions of his first Attorney General because of the fact that he felt that Jeff Sessions was not protecting him, was not functioning in that role and he ripped the bark off him for over a year for his decision to recuse.
“I suspect that the President was pretty pleased with the performance of Bill Barr today and particularly on the issue of obstruction. Because again, on collusion it does appear, and I will say that the Attorney General said it about a half dozen times, I lost count after that, ‘there was no collusion, there was no co-operation, there was no co-ordination’.
“But there does not seem to be any contradiction there, when it came to the obstruction case and as repointed out there were at least 10 instances that the Special Council raised that could be considered potential obstruction.
“Then you have got into this very curious area where the Attorney General seemed almost to be acting as the counsellor for the defence, the counsellor for the President.
Fox News: Bill Barr seemed to “make a case” for Trump, claimed a Fox News host
The Attorney General seemed almost to be acting as the counsellor for the defence
“Rather than the Attorney General talking about his motives, talking about his anger, his feeling that this was unfair and there were leaks. And really as I say, making a case for the President.
“I suspect the Democrats’ heads on Capitol Hill were exploding and they are going to come down very sharply about the way that Bill Barr today laid this out.
“Because there is no question, this is the first look in a sense that everybody has gotten today at the Mueller report and this was as good a case as the President and the President’s lawyers could make.”
The claims came as a shock to some, as Fox News is usually considered pro-Republican and pro-Trump. The BBC’s Jon Sopel tweeted: “Astonishing from #FoxNews anchor – he’s just said that #BillBarr has in this news conference stopped being the nation’s Attorney General but has become Donald Trump’s personal defence attorney #MuellerReport”.
President Trump announced after the report’s findings: “No collusion, no obstruction.”
Standing on stage with wounded US veterans, the US President continued: “There never was and there never will be. And we do have to get to the bottom of these things, I will say.
“This should never happen, I say this in front of my friends – wounded warriors – and I just call them warriors because we just shook hands and they look great, they look so good and so beautiful.
“But I say this in front of my friends. This should never happen to another President again. This hoax. It should never happen to another president again.”
Fox News: the BBC’s Jon Sopel reacted to the Fox News host’s claims
Also speaking before Robert Mueller took to the podium during a live news conference on Thursday, Attorney General Bill Barr said the report confirms the Russian government sought to meddle in the 2016 vote. But he added the special counsel found no evidence of any American conspiring with Vladmir Putin’s government.
And Mr Barr said the special counsel did not find proof any person illegally disseminated hacked emails. Mr Barr said President Trump’s personal counsel had been given the chance to read the report before it was released.
He added that “evidence of non-corrupt motives” weigh against allegations that the President obstructed justice.
He also said the White House “fully cooperated” with the investigation.
Mr Trump marked the Mr Barr’s comments with a Game of Thrones themed tweeting, writing: “No collusion. No obstruction. For the haters and the radical left democrats – GAME OVER.”
The report’s disclosure, with portions expected to be blacked out by Barr to protect some sensitive information, is certain to launch a new political fight in Congress and on the 2020 presidential campaign trail, as Trump seeks re-election in a deeply divided country.
“PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” the Republican president wrote in one of a series of Twitter posts ahead of the release attacking the Mueller inquiry and Democrats.
The report promises to provide new details about some of the biggest questions in the investigation, including the extent and nature of his campaign’s interactions with Russia and actions President Trump may have taken to hinder the inquiry including his 2017 firing of FBI Director James Comey.