ABC Journalists Seethe Over Barr Testimony, But Abrams Admits Dems Can’t Prove He Lied

On Wednesday morning, ABC broke in for roughly 20 minutes of coverage for the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing featuring Attorney General Bill Barr concerning the Mueller report and, predictably, ABC journalists were livid with Barr and painted him as a lying, partisan stooge. But they were undermined by chief legal analyst Dan Abrams asserting that he doesn’t think Barr critics will be able to sufficiently prove that he lied.

Senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega told World News Tonight anchor David Muir that Barr “is facing very serious new questions, renewed questions about his credibility” in addition to the supposed Barr vs. Mueller riff.

 

 

Even though there was no collusion and the President won’t be indicted on obstruction, Vega complained (click “expand”):

VEGA: The — the attorney general really created the impression that Mueller's team found no wrongdoing and then we later came to find out that that is not at all what the report concluded. And just as of two hours ago, President Trump was tweeted these words that we have heard him say so many times before: “No obstruction. No collusion. Complete vindication.” That's been their narrative and in many ways, it was a gift from the attorney general. I think there are some questions right now about whether — the Democrats will certainly ask them, about whether this is the attorney general acting as the attorney general of the United States or the lawyer for President Trump.

MUIR: Or the lawyer for President Trump because remember, Bob Mueller said in his report that if we could exonerate him, we will. He did not. 

After ABC dipped into the hearing for Barr facing off against Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Muir noted that Barr was asked about whether he personally knew members of Mueller’s team were displeased with his testimony following the March 24 letter on the probe.

“A very nuanced answer and, Dan Abrams, it sounded to me as though he was splitting hairs there, saying I didn’t talk to members of his team, so I didn’t know why they were upset. I talked to Bob Mueller himself,” Muir added.

It was here that Abrams burst some liberal bubbles: “Look, it's a very lawyery answer, right? And this is why I don't think they’re going to be able to truly kind of prove that Barr, quote unquote, lied, right? Because I think there will be an explanation for everyone of Barr's comments about the Mueller investigation.”

Not to be left out, senior congressional correspondent and frequent NewsBusters target Mary Bruce touted far-left Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) telling here that Barr lied to Congress and the country, but according to her conversations, Democrats are “stopping short” of saying he “outright lied or perjured himself.”

Bruce wrapped up ABC’s coverage with more liberal parroting (click “expand”):

David, the big picture, the view from Democrats up here on the Hill is that this letter, these new questions that have come out of the revelations about Mueller's complaints about the way Barr handled his report that all this does is underscore Democrats concerns that they say the attorney general is essentially doing the President's bidding, that he’s trying to protect the President. It's why you're seeing Bill Barr be grilled so aggressively on his interactions with Mueller, on his handling of this report and it's also why you're now seeing a growing number of Democrats here say that Bill Barr should resign and that they need to hear directly from Mueller testifying here on the Hill as soon as possible, David.

To see the relevant transcript from the May 1 ABC News Special Report, click “expand.”

ABC News Special Report
May 1, 2019
11:06 a.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: For weeks, William Barr's word was the final word until we had the Mueller report itself which allowed the president to go out there and say I've been exonerated. 

CECILIA VEGA: That's the big picture, the take away in all of this today, David. Look, the attorney general at this moment right now is facing very serious new questions, renewed questions about his credibility and now that we know about this — this letter, this confrontation that happened between the attorney general and Robert Mueller. This gave, just as you said, President Trump and the White House and his allies weeks to sort of set the message, to sort of set the — the agenda, if you will. The — the attorney general really created the impression that Mueller's team found no wrongdoing and then we later came to find out that that is not at all what the report concluded. And just as of two hours ago, President Trump was tweeted these words that we have heard him say so many times before: “No obstruction. No collusion. Complete vindication.” That's been their narrative and in many ways, it was a gift from the attorney general. I think there are some questions right now about whether — the Democrats will certainly ask them, about whether this is the attorney general acting as the attorney general of the United States or the lawyer for President Trump.

MUIR: Or the lawyer for President Trump because remember, Bob Mueller said in his report that if we could exonerate him, we will. He did not. 

(....)

11:17 a.m. Eastern

MUIR: A fairly testy moment there between Senator Leahy and the attorney general. He pointedly asked the attorney general about his testimony on April 9th which we now was — now know was several days after the attorney general talked directly with Robert Mueller. William Barr was asked why did he tell Congress and the American people that he didn't know the concerns of Robert Mueller's team. There had been reporting that several members of the team were unhappy with William Barr's testimony. Why did you say you didn't know if you spoken directly to Robert Mueller? And you heard what William Barr said there in his answer to Senator Leahy. He said, well, I talked to Bob Mueller himself, not to the members that were talked about in that reporting. A very nuanced answer and, Dan Abrams, it sounded to me as though he was splitting hairs there, saying I didn’t talk to members of his team, so I didn’t know why they were upset. I talked to Bob Mueller himself.

DAN ABRAMS: Look, it's a very lawyery answer, right? And this is why I don't think they’re going to be able to truly kind of prove that Barr, quote unquote, lied, right? Because I think there will be an explanation for everyone of Barr's comments about the Mueller investigation. 

MUIR: And he knew exactly what those questions were going to be coming at him today — 

ABRAMS: Exactly. 

MUIR: — asking about his testimony just several days back. I want to bring in our senior congressional correspondent, Mary Bruce because not only was it the exchange with Senator Crist [sic] a couple weeks back. There’s also an exchange with Senator Van Hollen. He said did Bob Mueller support your conclusion and, Mary, you’ll remember at the time, William Barr said I don't know whether Bob Mueller supports my conclusion and you talked to the senator and he said he believes William Barr was deliberately misleading the American people. 

MARY BRUCE: David, the senator tells me that he has no doubt that was a deceptive answer from the attorney general, that the attorney general was misleading not just Congress but the American people. But there is an important distinction here. Democrats that I’ve talked here this morning say they believe the impact of Barr's comments, Barr's previous testimony was misleading, but when I ask if they think he outright lied or perjured himself, well, they're stopping short of that. David, the big picture, the view from Democrats up here on the Hill is that this letter, these new questions that have come out of the revelations about Mueller's complaints about the way Barr handled his report that all this does is underscore Democrats concerns that they say the attorney general is essentially doing the President's bidding, that he’s trying to protect the President. It's why you're seeing Bill Barr be grilled so aggressively on his interactions with Mueller, on his handling of this report and it's also why you're now seeing a growing number of Democrats here say that Bill Barr should resign and that they need to hear directly from Mueller testifying here on the Hill as soon as possible, David.

NB Daily Mueller Report Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC Video Government & Press Robert Mueller David Muir Cecilia Vega Dan Abrams Bill Barr
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