Barr told Trump that theories about stolen election were ‘bulls—‘: report
Former Attorney General William Barr reportedly pushed back strongly on President Trump when discussing claims the president was circulating about the election being “stolen” from him.
Barr, during a meeting with Trump at the White House in early December, told the president that such theories of a stolen election were “bullshit,” Axios reported Monday.
Other aides in the room, including White House counsel Pat Cipollone, were reportedly surprised that the attorney general had made the comment, though did not disagree with his remarks.
The meeting came as Barr had publicly undercut the president’s baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, telling The Associated Press that the Justice Department had not uncovered evidence to back up the claims.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” Barr had told the AP in the interview.
Trump reportedly confronted Barr about his comments while in the private dining room next to the Oval Office.
“Why would you say such a thing? You must hate Trump. There’s no other reason for it. You must hate Trump,” the president asserted, according to Axios.
Barr responded that “these things aren’t panning out” and “the stuff that these people are filling your ear with just isn’t true,” Axios reported. The attorney general reportedly emphasized that the DOJ had reviewed the major claims put forward by the president’s lawyers.
Trump announced almost two weeks later, on Dec. 14, that Barr would step down from his position in the Trump administration, leaving roughly a month before President-elect Joe Biden would enter office. Trump praised Barr for doing an “outstanding job” and said they had a “very good” relationship.
The president had sharply criticized the attorney general leading up to his exit over Barr’s remarks about alleged election fraud as well as reports that Barr knew about a federal investigation into Biden’s son Hunter Biden months before the election but had kept it from public view. Trump called the attorney general “a big disappointment” on Twitter.
Barr was Trump’s second attorney general confirmed by the Senate and one of his staunchest allies in the administration. The attorney general had long faced criticism from Democrats and other outside groups over his efforts to defend the president during his nearly two years leading the Justice Department.
Trump and Barr met in mid-December, when the attorney general outlined his decision to step down, Axios reported. The president went on to claim for weeks that the election was stolen, culminating in his remarks at a rally near the White House on Jan. 6 knocking Republicans who planned to vote to certify the Electoral College count shortly before a pro-Trump mob swarmed the Capitol.
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