The Department of Justice (DOJ) is pushing back against media rumors that Attorney General Bill Barr is considering resigning after President Trump's tweets about Justice Department cases.
An administration official, speaking anonymously, said that Barr "has his limits," The Washington Post reported.
That report suggested that Barr wanted Trump to "get the message" to stop weighing in publicly with ongoing criminal cases. Another administration official gave a similar admission on Barr.
But DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec tweeted, "Addressing Beltway rumors: The Attorney General has no plans to resign."
Addressing Beltway rumors: The Attorney General has no plans to resign.
— KerriKupecDOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) February 19, 2020
The news that Barr might resign came days after he spoke out saying the president's tweets made it "impossible" for him to do his job.
"To have public statements and tweets about the department, about people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department, about judges before whom we have cases," Barr said, makes it "impossible for me to do my job and to ensure the courts and the prosecutors and department that we're doing our work with integrity."
Trump insisted he has a "legal right" to intervene in criminal cases but also says he knows he sometimes makes things difficult for Barr.
"I do make his (Attorney General Bill Barr's) job harder, I do agree with that. I think that's true," Trump said. "He's a very straight shooter. We have a great Attorney General."
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said, "The President wasn't bothered by the comments at all and he has the right, just like any other American citizen, to publicly offer his opinions."
"President Trump uses social media very effectively to fight for the American people, against injustices in our country, including the fake news. The President has full faith and confidence in Attorney General Barr to do his job and uphold the law," Grisham added.
But President Trump insists that he has a "legal right" to voice his concerns on criminal cases, saying, "I'm allowed to be totally involved. I am actually I guess the chief law enforcement officer of the country."
Barr also denied that the president ever asked him to do anything in a criminal case.
“The President has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.” A.G. Barr This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2020
The president caused more controversy on Tuesday after announcing the pardons and commutations for 11 people.
Most notably, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagoyovich, who was serving a 14-year sentence for trying to auction off Barack Obama's Senate seat.
The president told reporters before boarding Air Force One that he had commuted the sentence of Blagojevich, noting he had seen Blagojevich's wife advocate for him on television and had met him many years ago when the Democrat ex-governor had appeared on "Celebrity Apprentice."
"He'll be able to go back to his family after serving eight years in jail, which was a powerful and ridiculous sentence in my opinion," Trump said.
Also Trump granted clemency to financier Michael Milken, who pleaded guilty for violating US securities laws and Bernie Kerik, the former NYPD commissioner imprisoned on felony charges and tax fraud.
Click here to read the full statement released by the White House.