Barr turned down defense attorney job with Trump: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' 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) Swan MuellerGraham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' House progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller 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 SessionsAmash: Some of Trump's actions 'were inherently corrupt' 'Persuadable' voters are key to the 2020 election — and the non-screaming news industry Jeffrey Rosen officially sworn in as deputy attorney general 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."