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Barr turned down defense attorney job with Trump: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study 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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 SessionsHarris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House The Memo: Team Trump looks to Pence to steady ship in VP debate 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."