POLITICS

William Barr Shrugs Off Concerns Over His Reputation: 'Everyone Dies'

The attorney general said "at my stage in life it really doesn’t make any difference."

Attorney General William Barr appears unbothered by the damage to his reputation amid accusations that he is shielding President Donald Trump from the full implications of the Mueller report.

In an interview that aired Friday on “CBS This Morning,” Barr said he expected the opposition to mount after he took on his current role, because “we live in a crazy hyper-partisan period of time.”

Barr went on to suggest that he is the target of unjust criticism, saying he knew he “would be attacked because nowadays people don’t care about the merits and the substance.”

“They only care about who it helps, who benefits, whether my side benefits or the other side benefits. Everything is gauged by politics,” he said, contending that “at my stage in life it really doesn’t make any difference.”

Barr has been scrutinized by politicians of both parties, but especially by Democrats who allege that he seems more like Trump’s fixer than an unbiased attorney general.

In March, shortly after the conclusion of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s 2016 campaign, Barr sent Congress a misleading four-page summary of Mueller’s findings before publicly releasing the actual report. Days later, Mueller wrote a letter to Barr stating that he’d mischaracterized the report and “did not fully capture” its “context, nature, and substance.”

Though a handful of Democratic lawmakers, including several 2020 presidential candidates, have called on Barr to resign, he seemed unfazed by his adversaries.

“I am at the end of my career,” he said in Friday’s interview. “Everyone dies and I am not, you know, I don’t believe in the Homeric idea that, you know, immortality comes by, you know, having odes sung about you over the centuries, you know?”

Barr also said he did not regret taking on his attorney general role.

“In many ways, I’d rather be back to my old life,” he said, “but I think that I love the Department of Justice, I love the FBI. I think it’s important that we not, in this period of intense partisan feeling, destroy our institutions.”

Language has been amended to clarify the timeline of events in March.

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