Public policy expert sees pros and cons to Trump's pick for US Attorney General

Steve Tawa
December 07, 2018 - 7:25 pm

Susan Walsh/AP Photo

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- President Trump's nomination of William Barr for U.S. Attorney General would make for an unusual boomerang back into government service, since he served in the same role under George H.W. Bush. A local expert on public policy believes the U.S. Senate will follow through and approve the nomination.

A Professor of Political Science at Drexel University, Dr. Bill Rosenberg, thinks the nomination is "positive" in terms of moving on from the acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, whom President Trump appointed after pushing out Jeff Sessions in November.

"He's been a former attorney general, he's been an attorney for very large corporations, and he understands the law," Rosenberg said.

READ: Trump says he will nominate William Barr as his next attorney general

But there are minuses, like Barr's remarks critical of the Russia investigation by suggesting that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, hired a team laden with investigators who donated to Democratic campaigns. Barr also suggested that there was more basis to investigate Hillary Clinton for the Uranium One deal than there was to investigate Mr. Trump for potential collusion with Russia.

"I think that's probably throwing red meat to the political right, rather than something that he's probably going to actually carry out," Rosenberg said.

Mr. Trump also nominated State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, yet Rosenberg notes she has "virtually no diplomatic experience." 

"She's a former Fox news pundit," he explained. "She she fits the model that the president seems to employ about either bringing in news analysts or administrative types, like Hannity, Shine, Bolton and Kudkow from CNBC."

He says they are people who view the world through Mr. Trump's lens. Nauert would replace Niki Haley at the UN. Rosenberg says while Haley did not initially have foreign policy experience, at least Haley was twice elected governor of South Carolina.