AP NEWS

The Latest: Barr in Alaska to talk about Native violence

May 30, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s visit to Alaska (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Tribal representatives told U.S. Attorney General William Barr that rural Alaska Natives suffer from multiple public safety problems, including no law enforcement presence in multiple villages, substance abuse and alarmingly high rates of violence and sexual assault.

In Anchorage, Barr heard from tribal representatives Wednesday in an Alaska Native justice roundtable.

Earlier, he met with top Alaska law enforcement officials.

Barr will wrap up the visit with the rural communities of Bethel, Galena and Napaskiak.

The visit comes the same day special counsel Robert Mueller defended criticism from Barr and others that he should have decided whether to charge President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice during his investigation into Russian election meddling.

Barr left the roundtable discussion without responding to a question from The Associated Press about Mueller’s remarks.

___

3:55 p.m.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr has ignored a question about why he exonerated President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice.

Barr is in Alaska to meet with tribal leaders and other officials Wednesday about public safety challenges in the vast state. His visit comes the same day special counsel Robert Mueller made clear that he didn’t exonerate Trump in his investigation into Russian election meddling.

Barr didn’t respond to a question from The Associated Press as he left an Alaska Native justice roundtable.

The attorney general listened to tribal representatives who say there’s a lack of law enforcement in villages, slow response times, violence against women and substance abuse.

Barr says he considered the meeting an “introductory discussion” and was open to a follow-up.

He met with top Alaska law enforcement officials earlier in the day.

___

10:15 a.m.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr is visiting Alaska to meet with tribal leaders and other officials about disproportionately high rates of violence and sexual assault in Native communities.

His visit comes the same day special counsel Robert Mueller gave a clear defense to criticism from Barr and others that he should have decided whether to charge President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice during his investigation into Russian election meddling.

Justice Department spokeswoman Chloe Martin says Barr won’t address Mueller’s remarks or take questions Wednesday.

Barr is scheduled to participate in an Alaska Native justice roundtable and visit the state crime lab as Congress and advocates have renewed a focus on violence against Native American women.

The most recent federal figures show that more than half have faced sexual and domestic violence at some point in their lives.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.