Barr turned down defense attorney job with Trump: report

President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE's pick to be the next attorney general, William Barr, was previously offered a position as Trump's defense attorney, Yahoo News reports.

Trump met privately with Barr in the spring of 2017 and asked if he would serve as his defense attorney to defend him against special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's ongoing investigation, according to the news outlet. 

Barr reportedly said he had other obligations, indicated his answer was no, but said he would think about it.

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Yahoo News reports that Trump and his top advisers discussed hiring Barr again earlier this year after Trump's lead personal attorney handling Mueller's investigation, John Dowd, resigned. 

The discussions ceased once Trump hired Rudy Giuliani this past summer to take Dowd's place. 

The White House did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for confirmation of the report.

Trump on Friday said he would nominate Barr to be the next attorney general.

"He was my first choice since day one," Trump told reporters outside the White House. "He'll be nominated."

If confirmed, Barr would take over after the exit of Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE, who resigned at Trump's request in early November.

The president long criticized Sessions for not keeping a tighter leash on Mueller.

Barr is expected to face a tough confirmation battle in the Senate. Trump said Friday that he hoped the process will "go very quickly."