Kamala Harris Responds to Trump Calling Barr Questions 'Nasty': President's Primary Interest Is To 'Obstruct Justice'

Democratic Senator Kamala Harris was one of the protagonists of Attorney General William Barr's testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, putting the Department of Justice chief on the ropes with pointed and unrelenting questions.

But not everyone was a fan of her work. President Donald Trump singled her out for criticism when speaking with Fox Business after the hearing, calling her "very nasty." But on Thursday, 2020 presidential candidate Harris laughed off the attack, suggesting she is far more concerned with justice than the president's opinion.

One of the most striking moments in Barr's testimony was when he was unable to tell Harris whether anyone at the White House had suggested he open an investigation into anyone else. "Seems you'd remember something like that and be able to tell us," Harris said, to which Barr replied, "Yeah but I'm trying to grapple with the word 'suggest.'" Harris offered other words such as "hinted" or "inferred," but Barr remained unable to offer a coherent response.

But Trump denied that Barr came off badly. "He performed incredibly well today," the president told Fox Business. When host Trish Reagan mentioned Harris, Trump replied, "She was probably very nasty."

The president then went on to attack the other two Democratic presidential candidates serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee—Corey Booker and Amy Klobuchar. "You have three of them running against me and they're up there ranting and raving like lunatics, frankly, and they're running and how is that fair?" he said.

Trump continued, "So you have Bill Barr, highly respected, great attorney general and he's gotta take the abuse from people that are running for office. They don't care about this, they're just looking for political points."

Speaking on Morning Joe on Thursday, it was clear Harris had little time for the president's concerns. "Let me be very clear about how I think about what is important and what is before us," she said. "We have a president of the United States—I think that has been clear as a result of what we know from the Mueller report—his primary interest has been to obstruct justice. My primary interest is to pursue justice. And you can call that whatever name you want."

She went on to attack Barr, suggesting the attorney general "doesn't take his job seriously or he doesn't appreciate the significance of the job."

Following his appearance in front of the committee on Wednesday, Harris was one of several Democrats demanding that Barr resign over his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He is accused of misrepresenting Mueller's findings to protect Trump, who nominated him as Jeff Sessions' replacement in December.

Wednesday's hearing came the day after The Washington Post revealed that Mueller had written to Barr in March to complain that the attorney general's representation of his report did not reflect "the context, nature, and substance" of the investigation.

The attorney general role, Harris said, "is a job that comes with an incredible amount of power, and it should be conducted with the highest level of integrity."

Kamala Harris Bill Barr Donald Trump
Kamala Harris speaks and Cory Booker listen as Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong/Getty Images
Kamala Harris Responds to Trump Calling Barr Questions 'Nasty': President's Primary Interest Is To 'Obstruct Justice' | U.S.