Attorney General Bill Barr defended his decision to forcibly remove protesters from outside of the White House last week, claiming on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that the media is lying about the protesters being peaceful and that there was no connection between the incident and President Trump's visit to St. John's Church.

Why it matters: Barr has faced calls for accountability over the use of irritants and smoke balls on protesters in Lafayette Park on Monday before Trump's photo op at St. John's. A number of reporters on the scene insist that the protesters were peaceful, but Barr called it "one of the big lies that the media seems to be perpetuating at this point."

  • "All I heard was comments about how peaceful protesters were," Barr said, referring to protests that had turned violent the previous day. "I didn't hear about the fact that there were 150 law enforcement officers injured and many taken to the hospital with concussions. So it wasn't a peaceful protest. We had to get control over Lafayette Park, and we had to do it as soon as we were able to do that."
  • Barr also claimed that no tear gas was used on Monday. But a U.S. Park Police spokesperson told Vox on Friday that it was a "mistake" to say in a statement that tear gas was not used, acknowledging that the use of "smoke canisters and pepper balls" can cause tears and irritate eyes.

The big picture: Barr said he understands the African American community's "distrust" with police, but denied that law enforcement in the U.S. is "systemically racist." He also dismissed calls to eliminate or reduce immunity to allow for the prosecution of officers, claiming it "would result certainly in police pulling back."

  • "You know, policing is the toughest job in the country," Barr said. "And I frankly think that we have generally the vast, overwhelming majority of police are good people. They're civic-minded people who believe in serving the public. They do so bravely. They do so righteously."
  • "I think that there are instances of bad cops. And I think we have to be careful about automatically assuming that the actions of an individual necessarily mean that their organization is rotten."

Go deeper: Read the full transcript of the interview

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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.

Barr: "I have no reason to think" that 2020 election will be rigged

Attorney General Bill Barr told the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that he has "no reason to think" the 2020 presidential election will be rigged.

Why it matters: President Trump has claimed, without evidence, that widespread mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic would rig the election against him. Barr did add that he believes there is a "high risk" of voter fraud due to "the wholesale conversion of election to mail-in voting."

Pelosi defends likening federal agents to stormtroopers after Barr testimony

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a news conference in Washington, D.C. Photo: Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told MSNBC Tuesday night that Attorney General Bill Barr was "despicable" and acted like a "henchman" for President Trump during testimony on Capitol Hill earlier in the day.

The big picture: Barr testified that it was "irresponsible" of Pelosi to have likened federal law enforcement to "stormtroopers," after they were deployed to Portland, Oregon, during unrest at anti-racism protests. He said it's "possible" her remarks could endanger the officers. But Pelosi told MSNBC, "Do some other people come along and try to disrupt? Yes. But you don’t send in people acting like stormtroopers into the scene and evoking even more, even more unease and unrest."

Go deeper: Barr's time in the barrel