West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, one of three centrist Democrats who voted to confirm Attorney General William Barr, told CNN Wednesday he would reevaluate his support for Barr if he determines the attorney general spun the findings from special counsel Robert Mueller, as many Democrats charge.
“That would definitely change my approach and opinion and also my thought process about how I got to where I got to,” he said in an interview.
Manchin said he watched part of Barr’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee and now would like Mueller to testify so he can compare their testimony.
“I think everyone agrees that Mueller is a straight shooter and beyond reproach. He’s not shooting anybody’s bullets for any particular reason or political agenda,” Manchin said. “I would like to think Mr. Barr is doing the same. And if those two are in conflict, I will make my own decision from there.”
Manchin said he believes the American people must have “unequivocal confidence” in the attorney general and know he is “beyond any kind of reproach of any kind and should not editorialize whatsoever.”
Another Democrat who voted for Barr was further along than Manchin in reconsidering his support for the attorney general.
Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama told CNN he is “incredibly disappointed” with Barr’s handling of the Mueller report and that “I’m getting close” to losing confidence.
The third Democrat, Sen. Krysten Sinema of Arizona, declined to answer if she still supported Barr as she walked onto the floor for a vote. Her office later told CNN that Sinema has made a request to Barr for a meeting.