Attorney General William Barr said in a CBS News interview that he is unconcerned about his reputation in politics, stating flatly, “Everyone dies.”
Democrats have called for Barr to resign over his handling of the Mueller report on Russian collusion, alleging that he is engaged in a “cover-up” on behalf of President Donald Trump. Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, for example, accused Barr of misleading the public about whether or not the president obstructed justice. (RELATED: Dems And Liberal Media Seemingly Ignore Crucial Detail In Mueller’s Letter To Barr)
Barr explained in the interview, which aired in full on Friday, that he expected to get blowback if he were “behaving responsibly” as attorney general because the U.S. is currently in a hyper-politicized state.
“Nowadays, people don’t care about the merits or the substance, they only care about who it helps,” Barr said. “Everything is gauged by politics.”
“Everyone dies,” Barr replied when asked if he is worried about his reputation crumbling at the end of his career. “I don’t believe in the Homeric idea that, you know, immortality comes from having odes sung about you over the centuries.”
Barr also pushed back on the idea that Trump is at all responsible for undermining democratic institutions, instead pinning the blame on the “resist” crowd using investigations and allegations of criminality to remove Trump from office.
“I think one of the ironies today is that people are saying that it’s President Trump that’s shredding our institutions. I see no evidence of that,” he said. “From my perspective, the idea of resisting a democratically elected president and basically throwing everything at him and really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president — that’s where the shredding of our norms and our institutions is occurring.”
Barr’s interview with CBS came just after special counsel Robert Mueller gave a rare press statement about the conclusion of his investigation. Mueller seemed to push back on characterizations of Barr in that statement, indicating that he believes Barr acted in “good faith” by waiting to release his full report.