Attorney General William Barr has no intention to resign despite his comments criticizing President Donald Trump's tweets about open Justice Department cases, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley insisted Wednesday.
"The Department of Justice put out a statement about this yesterday, saying that the attorney general has no intention to quit or resign, whatsoever," Gidley told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "The president has also been clear they have a good working relationship. He expects Attorney General Barr to execute justice in all matters. He knows he is doing that. The relationship will continue and [Barr] has been doing an incredible job."
Trump said on Tuesday that his tweets might make Barr's life more difficult, Gidley said, but meanwhile, "the Washington games" are on display.
"We don't have to wonder what's going on in private," he said. "We've seen this play out in public. The attorney general has made his feelings known about the president's tweets. The president has also made his feelings known about the attorney general and his right to comment."
Gidley noted that he is not privy to the conversations between Trump and Barr, but it does seem that their private talks are playing out in public.
"They made their opinions well-known," said Gidley. "I'm not saying the president is ignoring the attorney general. What I'm saying, though, is the president has the right to defend himself like any other American citizen. He has done it before and will do it again."
Gidley also defended Trump's pardons and commutations for several people this week, including for former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik and ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Trump "is focused on making sure people who serve time in prison and are rehabilitated, who show regret and show remorse don't have to rot away in a jail cell their whole life," said Gidley. "These are non-violent offenders. He has the right to do that. He looks at all of these cases specifically on the merits and details like every president in the past has done."
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