Former Attorney General Bill Barr said the Justice Department had always known that Trump’s claims of election fraud were “Nonsense,” based on an excerpt from journalist Jonathan Karl’s upcoming book published in the Atlantic.
Why is this important: Barr’s new comments come as Trump continues to spread lies that the 2020 election is “rigged.” Republicans in swing states are working to “check” their ballots based on them. from a false electoral conspiracy
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Relive the past: Last December, Barr told the AP, “So far, we haven̵7;t seen a degree of fraud that could affect different outcomes in elections.”
The comments infuriated President Trump at the time, Barr told The Atlantic. “How could a bastard do this to me? Why do you say that?” Trump asked Bear. Barr replied that he said it because it was true.
“You must hate Trump. You have to hate Trump,” Trump said, referring to himself in a third person, according to Barr.
What are they saying: “My attitude is It was a time to rest or shut up,” Barr told The Atlantic. I have no motivation to suppress it. But my suspicion has always been that nothing is there. It was all a lie.”
Barr said the department investigated specific allegations released by Trump’s allies that ballots were inserted into a central area in Wayne County, Mich., but found a simple explanation.
“In other counties they count ballots in that area, but in Wayne County they bring them to one central counting point. So the box will come in all night. The fact that the boxes are coming in – that’s what they do.”
The department also looked at claims that the machines were converting Trump’s vote to Biden. “”We knew from the beginning that it was just nonsense.”
Barr also said he told Trump the lawyers fighting for the legal elections were “an antics.”
Barr said minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has Urges him to speak up against Trump’s false claims since November. But it wouldn’t do so on its own. McConnell didn’t want to upset Trump as he wanted Trump to campaign in Georgia.
“Listen, we need a president in Georgia,” McConnell said, according to Barr, “so we can’t attack him in the front right now. But you are in a better position to put reality in this situation. You are the only person who can really do it.”
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