Donald Trump’s handpicked new Attorney General William Barr showed us exactly who he is when he issued a “summary” of the Robert Mueller report that’s quickly being exposed as a fraud and a coverup. But it turns out Barr is even more dangerous, and more devious than we thought – and he appears to be playing for Team Barr even more so than Team Trump.
Immediately after William Barr offered Donald Trump a temporary reprieve from his dying presidency, Trump turned around and made the most nihilistic move he could think of: he instructed Barr’s Department of Justice to take the legal position that the Affordable Care Act should be struck down entirely. If this effort succeeds, tens of millions of people will lose their health insurance, and the entire American health care system could collapse. Trump clearly wants to destroy President Obama’s legacy just that badly, or he wants revenge on America in general, or something. But it’s Barr who’s playing the most dangerous game here.
Last night, Politico reported that William Barr actually opposes the move to end Obamacare, and fought against it, but Donald Trump ordered him to do it anyway. Here’s the thing about this report: no way on earth would this information surface unless Barr wanted it out there. He has to have indirectly fed this to the media. So what’s he doing?
Even as Barr is obstructing justice with the Mueller report in order to keep his new boss Donald Trump happy, Barr just publicly threw Trump under the bus on the Obamacare move. Because Trump is so insulated from real news sources, he’ll probably never even hear that Barr sold him out on this. Barr – if anyone actually falls for this – gets to be seen as the guy who wished he could save everyone’s health care.
It’s as if William Barr is only interested in keeping Donald Trump sated, so he gets to keep his job, even as he tries to carve out his own agenda and reputation apart from that of Trump. It’s a matter of time before Barr’s hand is forced on the Mueller report. Is Barr planning to feed Trump to the wolves on that too, while trying to paint himself as the hero is the matter? Is Barr trying to set himself up to be even more powerful if Trump is ousted? This keeps getting more grotesque, and more complicated.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report