May 31, 2019

Bill Barr says he doesn't regret his Mueller-related work

Attorney General Bill Barr said he expected criticism for his decisions surrounding the public release of the Mueller report and that he ultimately does not regret taking the job during an interview Friday with "CBS This Morning."

What he's saying:

"I realize we live in a crazy hyper-partisan period of time and I knew that it would only be a matter of time, if I was behaving responsibly and calling them as I see them, that I'd be attacked because nowadays people don't care about the merits or the substance. They only care about who it helps, who benefits, whether my side benefits or the other side benefits, everything is gauged by politics.
"And as I say that's antithetical to the way the department runs and any attorney general in this period is going to end up losing a lot of political capital and I realize that and that's one of the reasons that I ultimately was persuaded that I should take it on because I think at my stage in life, it really doesn't make any difference.
"I'm at the end of my career. ... Everyone dies and I am not — I don't believe in the Homeric idea that immortality comes by having odes sung about you over the centuries, you know?"
"People are saying that it's President Trump who's shredding our institutions. I really see no evidence of that. From my perspective, the idea of resisting a democratically elected president ... that's where the shredding of our norms and institutions is occurring."

Go deeper: White House sent Barr a letter blasting Mueller report as political

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 5,375,648 — Total deaths: 343,721 — Total recoveries — 2,149,412Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 1,639,872 — Total deaths: 97,599 — Total recoveries: 361,239 — Total tested: 13,784,786Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

White House announces new coronavirus travel restrictions on Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Trump, March 19, 2019. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images

The White House announced that beginning at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, President Trump would suspend entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days in an effort to stop the imported spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brazil has reported nearly 350,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the second-most in the world behind the U.S. — and has emerged as a Southern Hemisphere hotspot as other heavily affected countries in Asia and Europe have managed to get their outbreaks under control.

Trumpworld's plan to brand Biden

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Mandel Ngan/AFP

Trump's advisers relish the contrast between his public appearances and Joe Biden's lack thereof. The former vice president, following the guidance of public experts, has eschewed public events and stayed home for months now. Trump, meanwhile, is out and about — masks be damned.

What we're hearing: Watch for plenty more mask-free outings from Trump, hyping the reopening of the economy and avoiding discussions of social distancing and death counts.