The Department of Justice has issued a statement claiming that President Trump’s contact with foreign countries was to assure that there would be cooperation with Attorney General Barr as he looked into the origins of the Russia investigation.
According to The Hill:
The Department of Justice (DOJ) said Monday that President Trump contacted foreign countries at Attorney General William Barr’s request to ask them for assistance in an ongoing investigation into the origins of the Russian interference probe.
“As the Department of Justice has previously announced, a team led by U.S. Attorney John Durham is investigating the origins of the U.S. counterintelligence probe of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Durham is gathering information from numerous sources, including a number of foreign countries,” Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement.
“At Attorney General Barr’s request, the President has contacted other countries to ask them to introduce the Attorney General and Mr. Durham to appropriate officials,” Kupec added.
The Justice Department statement quickly followed reports that Trump had asked Australia’s prime minister during a recent phone call to assist Barr in gathering information for the Russia inquiry and that Barr had held meetings overseas in Italy seeking the country’s help. Barr has also reportedly requested assistance from British intelligence officials in connection with the inquiry.
Democrats have tried to frame this investigation as politically motivated while Barr and Trump are trying to point to a good faith effort to expose government corruption and bias.