Former U.S. attorney general William Barr told President Trump on December 1 that his theory that Democrats “stole” the election by means of widespread voter fraud was “bullsh**,” Axios reported on Monday.
Barr resigned later that month, amid reported tensions with Trump after the attorney general refused to publicly endorse claims of election fraud. In an interview with the Associated Press printed on December 1, Barr said that the Justice Department found no evidence of widespread fraud on a scale that could deliver Trump a victory.
Barr arrived at the White House for previously scheduled meetings that same day, and spoke with Trump about the AP article.
“Why would you say such a thing? You must hate Trump. There’s no other reason for it. You must hate Trump,” the president told Barr while referring to himself in the third person, in comments reported by Axios.
“These things aren’t panning out,” Barr responded. “The stuff that these people are filling your ear with just isn’t true.” Barr added that the election fraud claims were “just bullsh**,” and that the president’s lawyers were not making a coherent case.
“I’m a pretty informed legal observer and I can’t f**king figure out what the theory is here,” Barr said. “It’s just scattershot. It’s all over the hill and gone.”
None of Trump’s claims of voter fraud have survived scrutiny in court, and the president’s denigration of election officials and procedures in Georgia is cited as a factor in Republican losses in the state Senate runoffs. After Trump incited a mob of supporters to riot at the Capitol on January 6, which forced lawmakers to temporarily evacuate the building, Barr criticized the president for betraying his supporters.
“Orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable,” Barr said at the time. “The President’s conduct yesterday was a betrayal of his office and supporters.”