Trump denies he wanted Barr to publicly clear him
President Donald Trump on Thursday denied a report that he wanted Attorney General William Barr to hold a news conference to declare he broke no laws during a July phone call in which he pressed his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Democrats.
President Trump tweeted just after midnight local time that the story, first reported by The Washington Post, was "totally untrue and just another FAKE NEWS story with anonymous sources that don't exist".
The Post reported that Barr rebuffed the request, which came in September around the time the White House released a rough transcript of Trump's 25 July call at the centre of the House impeachment probe.
The paper, citing unidentified people familiar with the effort, said the request was relayed from the president to White House officials, and then to the Justice Department.
Trump insisted he did nothing wrong, tweeting: "Just read the Transcript" and "The Justice Department already ruled that the call was good."
That appears to be a reference to a statement from the Justice Department in September.
Back then, it announced that the department's Criminal Division "reviewed the official record of the call and determined, based on the facts and applicable law, that there was no campaign finance violation and that no further action was warranted".
Barr famously held a news conference ahead of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian election meddling and repeatedly declared investigators had found "no collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russia.