Jul 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Barr says he's discussed re-election effort with Trump, declines to elaborate

Attorney General Bill Barr told the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that the topic of President Trump's re-election has come up during Cabinet meetings, but he declined to elaborate on what he and Trump have specifically discussed.

The big picture: The hearing is focused on the Justice Department's alleged politicization under Barr. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) questioned Barr on whether he's discussed Trump's re-election in the context of deploying federal law enforcement to Democratic-run cities.

The exchange:

NADLER: "Have you -- now, yes or no. Have you discussed the president's re-election campaign with the president or with any White House official or any surrogate of the president?"
BARR: "I'm not going to get into my discussions with the president."
NADLER: "Have you discussed that topic with him, yes or no?"
BARR: "Not in relation to this program."
NADLER: "I didn't ask that. I asked if you discussed that --"
BARR: "I'm a member of the Cabinet and there's an election going on. Obviously the topic is going to come up."
NADLER: "So the answer is yes."
BARR: "The topic comes up in Cabinet meetings and other things. It shouldn't be a surprise that the topic of the election comes up."

Go deeper: Nadler accuses Barr of undermining democratic norms in opening statement

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