Barr: The left 'believes in tearing down the system'

Attorney General William BarrBill BarrFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Why a backdoor to encrypted data is detrimental to cybersecurity and data integrity FBI official who worked with Mueller raised doubts about Russia investigation MORE on Sunday voiced scathing criticism of the Democratic Party, claiming the left is trying to tear down U.S. institutions in a pursuit for “total victory.”

The comments came in an expansive one-hour interview with Fox News host Mark LevinMark Reed LevinTrump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Barr: The left 'believes in tearing down the system' Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans MORE that touched on subjects including Barr’s recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, the Black Lives Matter protests and the expansion of mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked about the recent hearing, Barr said that Democrats’ accusations against him were a reflection of how partisan politics have become in recent decades. He zeroed in on Democrats, alleging that the party has “withdrawn and pulled away from the umbrella of classical liberal values that have undergirded our society since our founding.”

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“I think the left has essentially withdrawn from this model, and really represents a Rousseauian revolutionary party that believes in tearing down the system,” he said.  “They’re interested in complete political victory, they’re not interested in compromise, they’re not interested in dialectic exchange of views.”

The attorney general added that Democrats’ push for victory is their “substitute for a religion." 

Barr has come under heavy scrutiny from Democrats in Congress over some of his actions while in the Trump administration. During the hearing last month, Democrats confronted Barr over the deployment of federal officers to U.S. cities and the prosecution of  Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. The agony of justice Our Constitution is under attack by Attorney General William Barr MORE, a longtime confidant of President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Ocasio-Cortez: Trump contributed less in taxes 'than waitresses and undocumented immigrants' Third judge orders Postal Service to halt delivery cuts MORE's. They also sought to paint Barr as a Trump loyalist whose actions were in accord with personally benefiting the president. 

Barr dismissed those accusations, saying amid the hearing that he has worked to “restore the rule of law” during his tenure. 

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During the interview, Barr also weighed in on the Black Lives Matter protests that swept the nation following the May 25 police killing of George Floyd. He claimed that a "turn of events" caused the police to be unfairly "demonized" and that it would potentially lead to fewer officers in certain cities.

"The fact is, generally speaking, we have superb police in this country," he said. "There will be some instances of excessive force, but by and large, it’s an excellent police force. And if they’re going to be demonized like this, they’re not going to work in these cities."

Barr later added that he believes "all Black lives matter" and that the concept should not just be about keeping African Americans safe from physical harm. 

"It's also providing economic opportunity, which this administration has done. It's also giving them a meaningful education that allows them to seize that opportunity," he said. 

But he also claimed that the protesters' tactics were "fascistic" and that their behavior amounted to a "revolutionary group that is interested in some form of socialism communism." 

Trump and his administration sparked strong pushback in July by sending federal officers to certain U.S. cities experiencing continued unrest. Barr, however, has consistently defended the move as one meant to quell violence. He's previously claimed that Democrats would not condemn "mob violence" against a federal courthouse in Portland, Ore.