Former Attorney General William Barr reportedly called then-President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election “bulls***” in private conversations last year.
The past comments were revealed in excerpts of ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl’s book Betrayal, which is set to be released in November 2021. Barr was purportedly unconvinced of the 45th president’s fraud claims and had at least one high-profile run-in with Trump, during which the pair exchanged harsh words.
“My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time,” Barr told Karl in an interview after the election, according to an excerpt published by the Atlantic. “If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bulls***.”
“We realized from the beginning, it was just bulls***,” Barr added. “It’s a counting machine, and they save everything that was counted. So you just reconcile the two. There had been no discrepancy reported anywhere, and I’m still not aware of any discrepancy.”
Last December, the former attorney general told the Associated Press that he and his team had “not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.” Trump allegedly confronted the attorney general after the report and a heated dialogue ensued, according to Karl.
“Did you say that?” the former president reportedly asked Barr regarding the Associated Press story.
“Yes,” Barr responded.
“How the f*** could you do this to me? Why did you say it?” Trump reportedly said.
“Because it’s true,” the former attorney general said.
Barr then allegedly told the president “no self-respecting lawyer” would “go near” his election challenges after the Justice Department vetted some of his claims.
“You know, you only have five weeks, Mr. President, after an election to make legal challenges,” Barr purportedly said. “This would have taken a crackerjack team with a really coherent and disciplined strategy. Instead, you have a clown show. No self-respecting lawyer is going anywhere near it. It’s just a joke. That’s why you are where you are.”
Karl also claimed Barr was urged by then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to quell Trump’s ballot fraud claims.
“Look, we need the president in Georgia,” McConnell allegedly told Barr, “and so, we cannot be frontally attacking him right now. But you’re in a better position to inject some reality into this situation. You are really the only one who can do it.”
Source: Washington Examiner : Bill Barr called Trump election fraud claims ‘bulls***,’ book says