Bill Barr Knocks Trump And Conservatives For ‘Pandering To Outrage’ After Mar-A-Lago Raid

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Former Attorney General Bill Barr criticized some on the right for “pandering to outrage” after the unprecedented raid by the FBI on former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago.

On an episode of journalist Bari Weiss’ “Honestly” podcast released Thursday, Barr defended the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) handling of the raid. He admitted, however, that the politically motivated investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump 2016 campaign damaged trust in federal law enforcement and “created the condition” for the public to think “the worst.”

“So what do you say to conservatives who say, ‘Why should we possibly trust these institutions to prosecute people — let’s say who protested on Jan. 6 — or agents of the state going after a president they so obviously despise? Why should we trust them anymore?'” Weiss asked. “You still give them the benefit of the doubt, but many other people in your party don’t.”

“Well, the Russiagate thing, I think, to the extent the FBI was misused was decisions made toward by high-level officials in the FBI, I don’t think that [FBI Director] Chris Wray is that type of leader nor do I think the people around Chris Wray are those types of leaders. I think there are problems in the FBI, but it’s not that. It’s not Chris Wray. Wray is going to wake up and say, you know, ‘How do I throw the FBI’s weight around to interfere in the political process.’ Just the opposite. I think he’s very cautious about that.”

Weiss pushed harder though, describing Barr’s responses as “unsatisfying.”

“You know, something I’m pretty tired of from — from the Right is the constant pandering to outrage and people’s frustrations,” Barr said. “And picking and picking and picking at that sore without trying to channel those feelings in a constructive direction.”

Barr conceded that certain institutions “need reform” and that this reform will only be possible if one party wins a “decisive majority that allows you to put a program into effect and deal with some of these problems going forward and fix them.”

“That is not done by throwing fuel on the fire of outrage on one side of the equation while the other side does the same thing on their side. That leads to stalemate,” he added.

Barr then accused Trump of riling up his base and getting them “upset” and “outraged” in order to get out the vote. (RELATED: Trump Files Motion Asking For Appointment Of ‘Special Master’ In Wake Of FBI Raid)

A poll released two days after the raid found a majority of Independents and Republicans believe the raid was politically motivated. Nearly 72% of Independents and nearly 84% of Republicans said the raid on Mar-a-Lago increased their motivation to vote in November.

Since the raid, Trump has been outspoken in his criticism against the FBI and the Biden administration, accusing President Joe Biden of knowing about the raid beforehand.

Trump claimed Thursday in a Truth Social post that he is “as innocent as a person can be.”

“Even though I’m as innocent as a person can be, and despite MY campaign being spied on by the Radical Left, the FISA COURT being lied and defrauded, all of the many Hoaxes and Scams that were illegally placed on me by very sick and demented people, and without even mentioning the many crimes of Joe and Hunter Biden, all revealed in great detail in the Laptop From Hell, it looks more and more like the Fake News Media is pushing hard for the Sleaze to do something that should not be done!” he wrote.

The FBI said it found 11 sets of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, including four sets of top secret materials, though Trump has disputed the findings, claiming the documents were declassified.