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2020 Democratic hopeful Seth Moulton says Barr should resign because he disobeyed the law

Rep. Seth Moulton: We need to take on Trump
Rep. Seth Moulton: We need to take on Trump 13:39

2020 Democratic hopeful U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts on Thursday called on Attorney General William Barr to resign because "it's the right thing to do."  In an interview with CBSN's Elaine Quijano, Moulton accused Barr of lying to Congress and cited the Justice Department's refusal to cooperate with a House Judiciary Committee subpoena for the full, unredacted version of the Mueller report and underlying evidence. 

"If there is one person who should be following the law of the land, it's the Attorney General," said Moulton.

Moulton is one of more than dozen Democratic candidates calling for Barr to resign. 

Democrats' calls for Barr's resignation have become a tool for President Trump's campaign team, which wrote in an email to supporters Wednesday "patriotic Americans can't sit by and watch Democrats attack Attorney General Barr for doing his job."

Moulton downplayed questions that calls for resignation were playing into the hands of the Mr. Trump's re-election strategy. "We need to call President Trump out when he is being fundamentally unpatriotic," he said. He added that his approach was based on "principle."

Pelosi accuses Barr of lying to Congress 07:03

When he asked why he was the best candidate to challenge the president in the 2020 election, Moulton said he is "taking him on these fundamental issues of the job, not just as president, but as commander-in-chief," with a focus on national security issues.

"We need to make it an issue because it is an issue of President's Trump's performance, and frankly, it should matter to all Americans," Moulton said. "So when people tell me it's not the top issue in the poll, I say that's okay, leadership is about explaining to people why these issues are important."

One topic Moulton said he felt is a national security issue is the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, something the Trump administration has declared as a humanitarian crisis. Moulton strongly condemned Mr. Trump's response to the border crisis.

"It's on the minds of a lot of American voters, but the president's response to it has been wrong in almost every way."

Moulton was critical of the administration's policy of separating families detained at the border, calling it "absolutely disgusting," and saying, "it couldn't be farther from American values."

He said Mr. Trump's proposal to construct a wall at the border would be ineffective in addressing issues of illegal drugs coming into the U.S. from Mexico.

"We have drugs coming through the southern border," Moulton said. "They're coming through the border ports of entry, that's where we should put more resources and security."

When asked about sending troops to the southern border in response to this issue, Moulton -- who served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps -- called it a "political stunt."

"The point is you have to use resources where they're needed," Moulton said. "And this is not a proper use of American troops."

Moulton said securing the southern border should be handled by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, and if needed, government contractors could provide extra security.

Moulton pointed to his military service as a reason he believes he can be successful compared to other Democratic candidates. He said his campaign has started by reaching out to veterans and young voters, and will focus its early message on service, including holding community service events in early states.

"Fundamentally, this should be a job about public service, and I think a lot of people forget that," Moulton said. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, both of whom are also seeking the Democratic nomination, also served in the military. 

Moulton is critical of other Democrats' support for "Medicare for All," saying a "single-payer system has real problems." 

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