The Washington Post reported Wednesday night that President Trump wanted his attorney general, William Barr, to state publicly that he had broken no laws with his July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump requested Barr make the announcement at a formal press conference. Barr declined Trump’s request, The Post reported, citing administration sources.
The Department of Justice did eventually release a statement claiming that a readout of the president’s call – during which Trump pushed Zelensky to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden – had been evaluated to not contain any campaign finance violations.
The sources told The Post that the president has mentioned Barr’s refusal to host a press conference on the issue in recent weeks, but a senior administration official denied that Barr’s decision had resulted in any friction between the two men.
“The DOJ did, in fact, release a statement about the call, and the claim that it resulted in tension because it wasn’t a news conference is completely false,” the official said.
The White House did not immediately answer a request for comment on the report.