Barr says he told Trump that election fraud claims were ‘bulls—‘
Former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said on Thursday that he told former President Trump that his claims about widespread election fraud were “bullshit.”
In an op-ed posted in The Wall Street Journal, Barr recalled confronting Trump about the 2020 election after the then-president and his allies repeatedly claimed President Biden’s win was tainted by voter fraud.
Barr said that he was called in to speak with Trump, who had been “struggling to come to terms with the election result” after giving an interview with a reporter from The Associated Press.
The former attorney general said that he had sat down with AP reporter Michael Balsamo, explaining that the Department of Justice had been probing Trump’s allegations of substantial voter fraud. He added that the the DOJ had not found fraud on a scale that would change the outcome of the presidential election.
“To date, we have not seen voter fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr said at the time.
When he was asked to meet with Trump later on, he recalled the then-president was visibly angry, and probed Barr on his interview with the AP.
“You must hate Trump. You would only do this if you hate Trump,” Trump allegedly said, according to Barr.
“Our mission is to investigate and prosecute actual fraud,” Barr responded. “The fact is, we have looked at the major claims your people are making, and they are bullshit.”
“The reason you are in this position is that you wheeled out a clown show, and no quality lawyers who would otherwise be willing to help will get anywhere near it.”
Trump became “very angry” in response to the conversation, according to Barr. Barr offered to resign, and Trump “slammed the table with his palm” and said ‘Accepted. Accepted.’ And then boom. He slapped it again. ‘Accepted. Go home. Don’t go back to your office. Go home. You’re done.’”
The president later asked, through associates, for Barr to remain in his post.
Barr has stated publicly that there was no widespread evidence of voter fraud.
In his op-ed published Thursday, the former DOJ head said that there is “always some fraud” in large elections, but the department had yet to see it on a large scale.
He added that he believed Democrats had taken advantage of rule changes, such as extending voting periods and voting by mail “to marshal the turnout they needed” in swing states.
Barr said that he had been a “vocal critic” of these rule changes, “precisely because they would increase the opportunity for fraud.”
“Still the opportunity for fraud isn’t evidence of fraud.”
Barr left the DOJ later in December.
Trump denied Barr’s characterization of the situation in a statement to NBC News, calling him “lazy” and a “coward” and saying that he asked Barr to resign for failing to pursue claims of election fraud.
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