Speed Reads

not a hair that can be split

CNN's Jeffrey Toobin blasts Barr for 'bizarre and convoluted' testimony

CNN's Jeffrey Toobin isn't buying Attorney General William Barr's congressional testimony.

While testifying before Congress on Wednesday, Barr faced tough questions about some of his previous testimony. He had been asked in April about reports that members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team were frustrated with his summary of their report, and Barr said he wasn't aware of this. But on Tuesday, it was revealed that Mueller wrote to Barr expressing concern that his summary "did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance" of his investigation just days after Barr sent Congress his summary in March.

Grilled over this discrepancy, Barr argued he was not being misleading, saying the original question was about members of Mueller's team being concerned about his portrayal of his findings, whereas Barr says he spoke to Mueller himself — not members of his team — and that Mueller said his summary was not inaccurate.

Toobin called this explanation "bizarre and convoluted," saying, "The question was ... 'Are you aware that the Mueller staff, that Mueller, is upset about what you did?'" Toobin said. "And he said no, and that's not true. And it's still not true." Toobin also rejected the idea that Barr was simply splitting hairs but technically being accurate, as there is "no mistaking" that senators were asking about dissent from Mueller's team, with Toobin arguing, "I don't think that is a hair that can be split."

Toobin also criticized Barr for suggesting that Mueller did not object to his summary, again calling this "just not true" because Mueller "obviously did have a problem. He put it in writing!"