Attorney General calls COVID lockdown intrusion on civil liberties

William Barr said that the calls for a coronavirus lockdown are "the greatest intrusion on civil liberties since slavery," prompting push back and backlash.
2:22 | 09/17/20

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Transcript for Attorney General calls COVID lockdown intrusion on civil liberties
Now to attorney general William Barr under fire for claiming that the calls for a coronavirus lockdown are, quote, the greatest intrusion on civil liberties other than slavery end quote and for some of the remark that's made about the leaders of the black lives matter movement. Pierre Thomas join us with more on all of that. Good morning, Pierre. Reporter: Amy, good morning. Last night the attorney general apparently decided to wade deep into the culture wars with those combative remarks. Appearing before a captive audience at an event hosted by hillsdale college, the attorney general invoked slavery to discuss concerns about the pandemic lockdowns. Putting a national lockdown stay-at-home orders is like house arrest. It's -- it's -- you know, other than slavery which was a different kind of restraint the greatest -- In his remarks he had a blunt message to prosecutors inside the justice department and critics who say his intervention in cases like Roger stone's, that of former national security adviser Michael Flynn were designed to help the president. He's in charge. What exactly am I interfering with? Under the law all prosecutorial power is invested in the attorney general. Barr comparing his prosecutors to preschoolers. Letting the most junior members set the agenda might be a good if I fossly at a .sorry preschool but no way to run a federal agency. With racial strife still unfolding after the deaths of George Floyd and others, Barr showed utter disdain for the leaders of the black lives matter movement. Accusing them of playing politics with the deaths of black Americans at the hands of police. Barr said those black you're the engine that makes letchs matter leaders were use the de as props. His primary message to the protesters, law and order. ABC news confirming he raised the possibility of charging rioters with sedition inciting a rebellion against the government in connection with the unrest this. Is a national guardsman claim that the military considered using a device on demonstrators that would make it feel as if their skin was on fire during that standoff at Lafayette park in June. The national guardsmen is at odds with Barr. Barr said the protests turned violent in Lafayette park. The national guardsmen say it was peaceful, Amy. Pierre Thomas, we appreciate it. Thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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