US President Donald Trump dismissed rare criticism from his Attorney General on Friday and tweeted that he had the "legal right" to intervene in criminal matters whenever he wanted.
The Republican businessman has been accused by Congress opponents of attempting to deprive the Department of Justice of independence in order to benefit himself and his allies.
He denies this, but on Thursday he came under fire from his own attorney general, Bill Barr, who complained that Trump's frequent tweeting about ongoing criminal cases meant "I can't do my job."
Barr told ABC News Television that "it's time to stop tweeting."
The Attorney General's unusual outbreak followed controversy over former Trump advisor Roger Stone, who was convicted of conspiracy witness manipulation and lies.
When the prosecutor recommended a prison sentence of seven to nine years, Trump tweeted that it was a "judicial error".
Shortly thereafter, the Department of Justice announced in a move that shocked many in Washington that it would seek less severe punishment. Four prosecutors closed the case in protest.
Barr, who has often been accused of being too comfortable with the president, told ABC that Trump had "never asked me to do anything in a criminal case."
But Trump's tweet early in the morning on Friday quoted these words, and then continued, "This doesn't mean that I don't have the legal right to do it as President, but I've decided so far not to!"
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)