About six weeks ago Bill Barr gave an interview to an Associated Press reporter in which he said, “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.” Barr was summoned to the White House that day and, as you probably could have guessed, the president was not happy about his comments. But when pressed, Barr refused to back down and told Trump the election fraud allegations were BS:
Trump had seen Balsamo’s story, and he was fuming. “Why would you say such a thing? You must hate Trump. There’s no other reason for it. You must hate Trump,” the president charged, speaking about himself in the third person.
“These things aren’t panning out,” Barr told the president, standing beside his chief of staff Will Levi. “The stuff that these people are filling your ear with just isn’t true.” Barr explained that if Trump wanted to contest the election results, the president’s internal campaign lawyers would have to do it.
The Justice Department, he continued, had looked at the major fraud allegations that Trump’s lawyers had leveled. “It’s just bulls**t,” Barr told the president. Cipollone backed up Barr by saying the DOJ was investigating these claims…
“I’m a pretty informed legal observer and I can’t f**king figure out what the theory is here,” he added. “It’s just scattershot. It’s all over the hill and gone.”
“Maybe,” Trump said. “Maybe.”
As Axios describes it, Trump and Barr had been at odds for months before this moment. Trump wanted a stronger federal response to the rioting in Portland and Seattle and Barr advised him this would escalate the tensions. But the argument over the election was the last straw.
Two weeks later, Barr returned to the White House and had a private meeting with Trump in which he announced he would resign before their disagreements escalated into a more public blowup. Barr’s resignation was announced the same day, Dec. 14, but would become effective on Dec. 23.
As we all know, Trump kept pushing the stolen election theory past that date and on Jan. 6 his supporters rioted at the Capitol in an effort to “stop the steal.” The following day former AG Barr spoke to the Associated Press again and blamed Trump for “orchestrating a mob.”
Former Attorney General William Barr says President Donald Trump’s conduct as a violent mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol was a “betrayal of his office and supporters.”
In a statement to The Associated Press, Barr said Thursday that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.”
It sounds like Barr pushed back on the election fraud claims as strongly as he could and when that failed he resigned. But Trump kept pushing it until the riot. The same day Barr criticized him was the day Trump issued a statement about a “seamless transition.”