Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy said Sunday President Donald Trump has a right to tweet his opinion about judicial decisions — but that doesn’t mean he always should.
“Does the president have a right to tweet about a case? Of course. Just because you can sing doesn’t mean you should. You can have a voice like Mick Jagger, but you wouldn’t want to start belting out ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ in church,” Kennedy explained on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
Trump clearly bothered Attorney General William Barr with his comments on the recommended jail time for former presidential advisor Roger Stone. (RELATED: John Kennedy Says James Comey ‘Ought To Hide His Head In A Bag’ After IG Report)
Barr had said in an ABC interview that it was “time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” because the president doing so makes his job “impossible.” Barr’s words were widely perceived as a stunning dressing-down of Trump’s habit of offering his opinion of legal decisions on Twitter.
Trump said he “wasn’t bothered” by Barr’s remarks, according to White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham.
But Kennedy suggested the president’s tweet was ill-timed. “This is a case where tweeting less would not cause brain damage. Roger Stone is pretty good at bad decisions. Nobody would confuse him with Alexander Hamilton,” the senator quipped. (RELATED: John Kennedy Fact Checks CNN’s Jake Tapper On Republican Senate Closed Door Hearings: ‘They Are Dealing With Classified Information’)
“Bill Barr’s Justice Department pursued him and convicted him. While the attorney general and others were trying to get the recommendations straight, the president tweeted, put the attorney general in an awkward spot, and he spoke out.”
Kennedy noted that the prosecutors who recommended Stone receive seven to nine years imprisonment for lying to Congress reportedly put pressure on the Department of Justice, something the senator said is “not the proper procedure. Nobody is above the law, but nobody is beneath the law. Mr. Stone’s status as a chucklehead is to a criminal act.”
The senator emphasized that Barr did not initiate the charges against Stone but merely prosecuted the case. Kennedy reiterated that if Barr was subject to political pressure from DOJ prosecutors unfriendly to Stone’s friendship with Trump, they should have been fired.
“I can tell you … if one of my staff members came to me and said, ‘Kennedy, I don’t agree with your position on net neutrality, and if you don’t change it, I’m going to quit and call a press conference,’ I tell you what I’d do. I’d say, ‘You have me confused with somebody who cares what you think. You can’t resign, because you’re fired.’”