The media erupted Tuesday over the letter Special Counsel Robert Mueller reportedly sent to Attorney General William Barr criticizing the characterization of Barr’s “principal conclusions” of the Mueller Report he had sent to Congress in March.
The Washington Post first reported on Tuesday evening about the letter Mueller had written to Barr just days after the attorney general released the four-page summary that highlighted that there was no evidence of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election and that the special counsel did not conclude that President Donald Trump obstructed justice.
Mueller reportedly told Barr that his summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the work his office conducted. Mueller did, however, express that the summary wasn’t inaccurate, and according to the Post, felt that the “media coverage of the letter was misinterpreting the investigation.”
CNN gave the Mueller letter wall-to-wall coverage during primetime and MSNBC dedicated the vast majority of their programming to it as well. Only MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow managed to dedicate a segment on the chaotic power struggle in Venezuela between the two liberal cable news networks on Tuesday night.
CNN anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon piled on the attorney general during their handoff. Cuomo called Barr and “agent” for President Trump instead of the American people while Lemon called him a “political hack” and a “mercenary for the president.”
“You don’t have to be a lawyer to see when someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes,” Lemon told Cuomo. “You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand how William Barr got this job, how he auditioned for it, how he conducted himself during the hearings, and how he conducted himself at the press initial press conference with the letter and the second press conference.”
Meanwhile, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough took to Twitter and demanded Barr’s impeachment.
“Federal judges have repeatedly been impeached and removed from office for committing perjury, ‘making false and misleading statements,’ ‘impeding an official investigation,’ and ‘lying under oath.’ Those descriptions seem to fit William Barr tonight,” Scarborough tweeted. “As Robert Mueller told Barr, his mischaracterizations of the report mislead the public and undermined one of the central purposes for the Justice Department appointing the Special Counsel. Barr then lied to Congress and the press.”
MSNBC guest Elizabeth Holtzman compared Barr’s “cover-up” to Attorney General John Mitchell, who she said went to jail for covering up Watergate for Richard Nixon.
The hashtags “BarrLied” and “ImpeachBarr” dominated on Twitter, highlighting two separate exchanges the attorney general had with Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill, one where he told Florida Rep. Charlie Crist that he didn’t know about the various reports that the Mueller team was frustrated with Barr’s summary and another where he told Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen that he didn’t know if Mueller supported his conclusion to the report.