CHUCK TODD, NBC ‘MEET THE PRESS’ HOST: Back now with End Game. And it’s been quite an active week here in Washington away from the campaign, hasn’t it? We’ve seen Attorney General Bill Barr’s Justice Department intervene in both the Roger Stone and Mike Flynn cases. We’ve also seen four Stone prosecutors quit the case as a result. And then we heard Barr “rebuking”– and we’re going to put that in quotes for now — President Trump and his tweets. Rebuked him again in an ABC News interview. I want to play a couple of things before we get started with this conversation. First, I want to play Barr about what the tweets have done to him. Take a listen.
ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR: Once the tweet occurred, the question is, “Well, now what do I do?” And do you go forward with what you think is the right decision? Or do you pull back because of the tweet? And that just sort of illustrates how disruptive these tweets can be.
CHUCK TODD: Of course, everybody’s been trying to figure out — who is Barr talking to? Is he rebuking the president? Here’s what Laura Ingraham on, on Fox News, here’s what she said after the interview.
LAURA INGRAHAM: The media sees this sexy story of Trump versus Barr, but they missed the fact that Barr was basically telling Trump, “Don’t worry. I got this.”
CHUCK TODD: Peter Alexander, did Laura Ingraham just say the quiet part out loud?
PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I mean, I think a lot of people believe that’s the case, right? That effectively what Barr was saying is, “Hey, boss. This is unnecessary and unhelpful. Look at the actions we’ve taken to this point so far.” The president — this is not a president who’s in it for justice. He’s a president who’s in it for an eye for an eye. Think about what’s happened in the last, what, eight to ten days since he was impeached. I asked him for lessons learned. There was no self-reflection. He said that the Democrats are crooked. In the days since then, he’s fired Gordon Sondland and Vindman. He also moved on attacking the Stone decision, you know, and, and got what he wanted out of it. And McCabe, I’m told, is what made him angrier than anything right now. But this is a president that is emboldened. And the best example of that is the fact that today he goes to the Daytona 500, and I’m told that there are discussions, he is planning to literally take a victory lap where he will — you know, the cars all lean left, the folks in the crowd lean right. This is going to be a massive Trump rally. And this is a guy who feels big, not just like a survivor, but feels stronger right now.