Attorney General William Barr hit the establishment media in an interview aired Sunday for what he called its “bovine silence” regarding the debunked narrative of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
In an interview on “Fox Sunday Futures,” Barr also asserted that the various government investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Kremlin were the “closest we have come to an organized effort to push a president out of office” since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Barr has long questioned the FBI’s decision to open a counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign in July 2016. He appointed John Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, to conduct a review of the investigation and other surveillance conducted against Trump campaign associates.
He said in the Fox News interview that Durham’s probe will yield some results “hopefully before the end of the summer.”
Barr leveled his most pointed critique against the establishment media, which he accused of pushing the conspiracy theory that the Trump campaign conspired with the Kremlin.
“It’s like not even a ‘Whoops,’ and they’re just on to the next false scandal,” Barr said in the interview.
“It’s been stunning that all we’ve gotten from the mainstream media is sort of bovine silence in the face of the complete collapse of the so-called Russiagate scandal, which they did all they could to sensationalize and drive,” he said.
“So that has been surprising to me, that people aren’t concerned about civil liberties and in the integrity of our governmental process.”
The special counsel’s office and Justice Department inspector general (IG) poured cold water on the collusion theory in reports released in 2019. The special counsel said investigators could not establish that Trump associates conspired with the Russian government. The IG said that the FBI made a series of “significant” errors and omissions in applications to conduct surveillance against Carter Page, a former campaign aide.
Barr also said that Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe has been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said that there has been a “distinct slowing down” of Durham’s efforts to interview witnesses as part of the probe. He declined to say whether a grand jury has heard testimony as part of the probe, but he said that grand juries have not met at all in jurisdictions across the country because of the virus.