President Trump spoke in Kansas City, Missouri, Friday afternoon for the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods National Conference organized by the Justice Department. His speech came hours after he announced changes in his Cabinet, including tapping. Barr previously served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush.
Mr. Trump touted the Project Safe Neighborhoods, spearheaded by George W. Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft, which brings together law enforcement and community leaders who work together to combat violent crime.
"After many years of neglect, we are bringing back this life-saving program, stronger than ever before," Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump also praised Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who recently won a Senate election. The president joked that too often, candidates look good, but then"they choke like dogs." Hawley, he said, was not that kind of candidate.
"He had a tough race against a very tough competitor, and he was absolutely fantastic," Mr. Trump said. He also complained about how the "fake news" was more focused on Democrats taking the majority in the House than Republicans expanding their majority in the Senate. "Nobody ever talks about the Senate! We won the Senate easily," Mr. Trump said.
In his speech, Mr. Trump primarily focused on supporting law enforcement. He discussed bringing back the death penalty for "cop-killers."
"For me it's not even a little bit controversial. You kill a cop, you get the death penalty," he said. He also railed against Democrats for supporting "open borders," and called for greater support for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
"Congress must fully fund border security in the year-end funding bill," Mr. Trump said. "I actually think the politics are very bad for them," he added about Democrats. Congressional Democrats remain opposed to providing funding for the wall, which could lead to aat the end of the year.
If confirmed, Barr will replace Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who was appointed by the president in November after he ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Several Democrats raised concerns about Whitaker because of his past criticism of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Whitaker is currently overseeing the investigation.
Mr. Trump talked to reporters before boarding Air Force One to travel to Missouri on Friday morning. The president called Barr a "terrific person" and a "brilliant man."
"He was my first choice from day one," Mr. Trump said about Barr.
Mr. Trump also officially named current State Department spokespersonto replace Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. on Friday. A former host for Fox News, Nauert joined the administration last year.
"I am pleased to announce that Heather Nauert, Spokeswoman for the United States Department of State, will be nominated to serve as United Nations Ambassador," Mr. Trump tweeted on Friday.
CBS News' Major Garrett has reported that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's. When he spoke to reporters, Mr. Trump made no mention of Kelly. He did say that he would likely make an announcement about joint chiefs of staff leadership over the weekend.
Mr. Trump's trip to Kansas City also comes amid developments in the special counsel investigation. Mueller is expected to file memos on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Friday. Mr. Trump began his Friday with aagainst Mueller and his investigation.
"Robert Mueller and Leakin' Lyin' James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest," Mr. Trump wrote in one tweet. Comey is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee Friday.
Mr. Trump is expected to travel to Philadelphia tomorrow for the Army-Navy football game.