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Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended Attorney General William Barr's handling of the special counsel's still-secret investigation on Russian interference in a Wall Street Journal interview published on Thursday, rejecting claims by Democrats that the country's top law enforcement officer has been misleading.

"He’s being as forthcoming as he can, and so this notion that he’s trying to mislead people, I think is just completely bizarre."
— Rosenstein said in his first interview since Barr released his 4-page summary

The backdrop: Barr said last month in his "principal conclusions" of Robert Mueller's report that the probe found no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. He has since been under intense pressure by Democrats demanding the full, unredacted 400-page Mueller report be delivered to Congress for the sake of transparency. He told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday that he will release it "within a week."

In the interview, the WSJ reports that Rosenstein declined to explain why Mueller's team drew no conclusions on whether Trump illegally obstructed justice.

"It would be one thing if you put out a letter and said, ‘I’m not going to give you the report.' What he said is, 'Look, it’s going to take a while to process the report. In the meantime, people really want to know what’s in it. I’m going to give you the top-line conclusions.' That’s all he was trying to do."
— Rosenstein told the WSJ

Go deeper:

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54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.

Ina Fried, author of Login
4 hours ago - Technology

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.