AG Barr Explains Mueller’s Absence at Mueller Report Press Conference: ‘It’s a Report He Did for Me’

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Attorney General William Barr held a press conference ahead of the public release of a redacted version of the Mueller report — but special counsel Robert Mueller was nowhere to be seen.

A reporter pressed Barr, who flanked by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and acting Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Edward O’Callaghan, about the notable absence on the podium at the Department of Justice on Thursday.

“There’s a lot of public interest in the absence of the special counsel and members of his team. Was he invited to join you up on the podium?” a reporter asked. “Why is he not here? This is his report, obviously, that you’re talking about today.”

But Barr, apparently taking issue with the framing of the question, fired back.

“No, it’s not,” Barr answered. “It’s a report he did for me, as the attorney general.”

Watch the video below, via ABC News:

Barr continued, arguing that the press conference was meant to air his response and decisions following his reading of Mueller’s report:

“He is required under the regulation to provide me with a confidential report. I’m here to discuss my response to that report and my decision, entirely discretionary, to make it public — since these reports are not supposed to be made public. That’s what I’m here to discuss.”

The attorney general plans to deliver a version of the final Mueller report, with redactions, to Congress on Thursday. The redacted report will then be made available to the public shortly thereafter.

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