Administration

Barr says Trump responsible for Jan. 6 riot ‘in the broad sense of that word’

Former Attorney General William Barr said in an interview aired on Friday that he believes former President Trump is responsible for thee Capitol riot “in the broad sense of that word.”

During an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, which is scheduled to air in full on Sunday, Barr was asked if the former president was responsible for what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

“I do think he was responsible in the broad sense of that word, and that it appears that part of the plan was to send this group up to the Hill. I think the whole idea was to intimidate Congress, and I think that that was wrong,” Barr responded.

Holt noted during the interview that Trump provided a three-page response to the network over Barr’s remarks, in which he called his former attorney general a “coward,” “a big disappointment” and “lazy.” He also said Barr’s forthcoming memoir, “One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General,” was “fake.”

In an excerpt of that response to NBC News, which was obtained by The Hill, Trump claimed that before the Jan. 6 rally, he had suggested that troops be stationed in Washington, D.C., and at the Capitol building, but that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) were not interested.
 
“If they had taken my offer, there would have been no ‘January 6’ as we know it. We would have had a minimum of 10,000 troops encircling the Capitol, and nobody would have gotten near it, or them,” Trump said in his response.
 
The former president also pointed to several statements he made, including one tweet in which he asked for those at the Capitol “to remain peaceful.”
 
Republican lawmakers have previously grilled Pelosi for the security lapses during the Capitol riot.
 
Pelosi’s office said last July following Republicans’ assertions that a request to activate the National Guard was never denied by speaker and that Capitol security decisions are not overseen by congressional leaders. 

The interview comes one day after an excerpt of Barr’s memoir was published in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday in which he discussed confronting Trump about the former president’s baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.

“You started blaming the department for the inability of your legal team to come up with evidence of fraud,” Barr told Trump during a conversation, according to his memoir. “The department is not an extension of your legal team. Our mission is to investigate and prosecute actual fraud. The fact is, we have looked at the major claims your people are making, and they are bullshit.”

The excerpt goes on to say that Barr offered to resign from his position, which he says Trump accepted. According to NBC News, Trump has claimed that Barr’s story was made up and that he was the one to ask his former attorney general to resign. 

— Updated at 11:48 a.m.

Tags 2020 election Capitol riot Donald Trump Donald Trump jan. 6 Jan. 6 attack Muriel Bowser Nancy Pelosi William Barr William Barr

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