Acting US attorney general talks opioids on Tennessee visit

November 29, 2018
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Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker speaks about the opioid crisis during a news conference, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has swung through Tennessee to laud the approach being taken against the opioid epidemic by the Trump administration.

Whitaker read from prepared remarks alongside Tennessee’s U.S. attorneys Thursday in Nashville. He steered clear of discussing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and Russian ties to Trump’s campaign, a probe Whitaker has criticized.

Whitaker touted a new opioid abuse-fighting team in Appalachia, the administration’s focus on prosecuting fentanyl cases, a new FBI team focused on the threat of online opioid sales and other efforts.

Before the news conference, an aide told reporters that Whitaker would answer no questions. After the news conference, Whitaker turned to reporters, said, “No questions? Come on,” laughed, and left the room.

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