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leading candidate
December 6, 2018

About a month after ousting former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, President Trump appears to have found his replacement.

William Barr, who served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993, is Trump's leading candidate for the job, The Washington Post reports. Two sources told the Post that Trump has told his advisers he will nominate Barr, while others said Barr is just the leading candidate but a decision isn't final.

Trump was apparently advised that Barr would be a solid pick because he has the experience and "a bluntness that is likely to resonate with the president." If Trump doesn't end up going with Barr, someone else he's reportedly been considering is Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas). Trump is expected to make the announcement in the coming days.

Sessions was replaced by Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, a controversial choice considering he was not Senate confirmed and had publicly spoken out against Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which he now oversees.

Unlike Whitaker, Barr has not spoken much about the Russia investigation specifically, although he did offer criticism when it was reported that some members of Mueller's team had donated to Democrats, calling for more "balance." Barr also argued in a Washington Post op-ed that Trump was right to fire former FBI Director James Comey, seeming skeptical of the idea that Trump did so because of the Russia investigation. "Comey's removal simply has no relevance to the integrity of the Russian investigation as it moves ahead," he said. Barr also told The New York Times in 2017 there's more basis to investigate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the uranium deal she approved in 2010 than there is to investigate Trump over potential Russia collusion. Brendan Morrow

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