While the disgraced ex-president Donald Trump continues to push the “big lie” that the 2020 presidential balloting was rife with fraud so pervasive that it cost him an election victory that he thinks is legitimately his own, his former Attorney General William Barr has repudiated Trump’s false claims in no uncertain terms in a new interview with The Atlantic‘s Jonathan Karl.
According to Karl — whose article describes the breakup between the man who was previously the former president’s most loyal defender (to the point of being described as more of a personal attorney to Trump than the nation’s top justice official) and the deeply unhappy loser of the presidential contest — Barr says the claims of widespread election fraud are “bullshit.”
As part of a series of interviews with Karl likely designed to rehabilitate his reputation after his disastrous association with Trump, William Barr addressed the events that led to his slightly premature resignation during Trump’s lame-duck period after the magnitude of his landslide loss to Joe Biden became clear.
Karl pinpoints the moment of what he calls Barr’s betrayal of his boss to December 1st of last year when the then-Attorney General met with an Associated Press reporter over lunch and uttered these fateful words that he must have known would be sure to infuriate the thin-skinned Trump.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the AP‘s Justice Department correspondent, Michael Balsamo.
While Barr had previously seemed to have no qualms about misrepresenting reality on behalf of the Republican president when it came to his mischaracterization of the findings of the Mueller report investigating Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia to win the 2016 election, supporting the claims of malfeasance in the 2020 election without a shred of real evidence was a bridge too far for the Attorney General.
“My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time,” Barr told me. “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 bullshit.”
Karl details the efforts that Barr made with the Justice Department to investigate the Trump campaign’s allegations that voting machines were rigged to switch votes from trump to Biden.
After Barr had received two briefings from a group of FBI and DHS cybersecurity experts, he tells Karl, he knew that Trump’s claims were unsubstantiated.
“’We realized from the beginning it was just bullshit,’ Barr told me,” Karl writes, “noting that even if the machines somehow changed the count, it would show up when they were recounted by hand. ‘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,’ ” Karl quotes the former Attorney General as saying.
Karl goes on to detail the steps that led to Barr’s decision to resign rather than continue to be associated with Trump’s quixotic campaign to overturn the legitimate results of the election.
You can read the full story of former Attorney General William Barr’s attempts to salvage his historical legacy in Jonathan Karl’s article in The Atlantic at the link below.
"It was all bullshit."
That's what Bill Barr told me he thought of Trump's claims of election in an astonishingly candid interview for my upcoming book on the final days of the Trump Presidency – one of many on-the-record interviews for my book. https://t.co/dumKnmYhSg
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) June 27, 2021
Original reporting by Jonathan Karl at The Atlantic.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.